P81007The Third Day of Creation was when it all started. Plant life was created just two days after Heaven and Earth, and Night and Day. It must have been a pretty big deal. Humans were not created until three whole days later!
After all this time since Creation, the flora of the World is still just as important as it has always been. Vegans can survive without the consumption of animal products, but no one can survive without the consumption of plants, or the consumption of animals who were sustained by plants. We breath oxygen generated by plants. We live in homes made of wood. We wear clothes made of cotton. Until relatively recent history, wood was the primary fuel for cooking and warmth through winter. Even modern fossil fuels that have replaced wood are derived partly from fossilized plants. There seems to be no end to the long list of what plants do for us.
As if all that were not enough, plants provide pleasure. Some are dazzling desert wildflowers. Some are majestic forest trees. Most are something in between. Many are invited to inhabit our gardens, landscapes and even our homes and offices. Some are bred to do what they do even better than they did originally.
David Paul, in the picture above, made a career of cabinetry, which involved all sorts of fancy and exotic woods. Most of these woods were derived from genetically unimproved trees that would have been found growing in the wild. Most were from eastern North America. Some were from other continents. Some of the favorite maple burls were specifically from New England and the Pacific Northwest. David Paul was no horticulturist, but he knew quite a bit about the flora that produced the fancy woods that he worked with.
The pumpkin is another story. David Paul grew giant pumpkins for several years in Colorado Springs merely because he enjoyed doing so. It required serious dedication throughout the entire long growing season. Yet, the pumpkins were grown only for the fun of competition. As huge as they were, they were not to be eaten. That is the epitome of growing something merely for the fun of it. This is such an excellent picture of that epic pumpkin that it was the illustration for the obituary of David Paul.

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11 thoughts on “The Great Pumpkin

  1. Last year we went to a pumpkin festival and they were showing the biggest pumpkin grown in Germany, interesting to see! there were all kinds of sculptures made of pumpkins… as beautiful as it was (and delicious because they were selling, of course, all kinds of products made of pumpkin), I could not stop but think not only how beautiful nature is and how creative human is using nature, but also how much water and soil was necessary to grow those giant pumpkins or the others made merely for decoration only for a weekend fest, or the fuel used for the other competitors to travel from other parts of the country… all those pumpkins spoiled in just a couple of days… and I have no doubt they would be composted… but still… I have mixed feelings about it.

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    1. Mixed feelings? Everyone who does it enjoys it. Otherwise they would not do it. There are so many worse things that people could do for fun. For the past few years, I win second place (not first place – It is a long story.) In the Jam and Jelly Competition of the Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival . . . and I do not even like the jelly that keeps wining ( . . . second place).

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    1. There were only a few plants that grew in a space comparable to that of an urban backyard. They do not take much space at all. They just need a lot of nutrients and very regular watering.

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  2. How right you are Tony – we are SO dependent on plants – and “consumer folk” sometimes miss that point. As sad David Paul’s passing away is, isn’t there some parallel between growing pumpkins for competition (only) and breeding bulls for bullfights (only)?

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    1. Perhaps there are some parallels, but I would notice the many differences first! Like bulls, I found pumpkins that were grown for something so contrary to their obvious function to be interesting. It is nice that someone who is not so interested in growing other fruits and vegetables can enjoy growing giant pumpkins just because they are so impressive.

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    1. Giant pumpkins are not for eating. They are grown for competition. The flavor is unfortunately very bland. I think that if I grew one, I would want to eat it anyway, just because so much work goes into growing one.

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