Archive for September, 2010

I Dream Of Greenie: Freebie Winner!

So not only is one person about to win an awesome assortment of earth-friendly prizes from Green Nest as part of this week’s giveaway, but all of you can now score 15% off your order with code YOUNGHOUSE through October 23rd. That way you can snag any of this week’s prizes (the recycled rug, the soy candle, the soda bottle tumblers and 2 Garden-in-a-Bags) or any other green items for home or body from Green Nest.

As for our random winner, we blinked our eyes twice and’s selection magically appeared… Liz (who has planted her yard with native plants which has reduced her watering and mowing need). Congrats!

Next week’s prize is, well, let’s just say it’s our blogiversary week… which means the prize will be our biggest of the year. Like, um, $500 big.

Note: We weren’t paid or perk’d for hosting this giveaway, we just take them on to reward our lovely readers! See our Giveaway FAQs page for more info. Pics from Green Nest.



Move Over Peter Pumpkin Eater

…because Petersik Pumpkin Farmer is the new guy in town. Well, Accidental Pumpkin Farmer I should say. Yep folks, I grew a pumpkin without even trying. Personally, I’m kinda amused by the whole thing. Sherry’s a bit less enthusiastic about our surprise fruit. Here’s how it happened:

See those pumpkins we painted last year? When they were past their prime I – without really thinking – tossed ‘em in one of our DIY compost bins. Apparently, if you’re trying to grow pumpkins, nutrient rich compost is a great place to “plant” a fruit filled with seeds. But if you’re trying to maintain a compost bin, I wouldn’t recommend it.

I didn’t realize I was on the path to pumpkin growing until this past spring when I used some of said compost to help out our edible garden… and some mystery sprouts popped up next to each of my plantings. After plucking the “weeds” a few times we successfully eradicated what we didn’t realize at the time were pumpkins trying to grown next to our basil and bell peppers.

Then one day I noticed a bigger version of that “weed” poking out of the compost bin. That’s when I put two and two together and realized what I had done. Sherry was a tad annoyed that our compost had been compromised, but I was honestly too excited by the idea that I had started growing a pumpkin to even care. So she agreed to let me follow my crazy accidental pumpkin dreams and see what would happen (especially because we had a second compost bin that we were still able to use without pumpkin interference).

What we got was a crazy vine. I sadly don’t have any pictures of it because I honestly never thought it would work, but you can see a smidge of its wide leaves poking out behind me in my glass bottle video. Those, my friends, are pumpkin leaves.

I actually thought it was a cool plant. It wrapped itself around our fence, grew big leaves and even sported a few blossoms that would open during the day (like the one pictured below from someone else’s garden). All of this made me very excited to see what magnificent pumpkin(s) would be growing come fall.

But then it died. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t give it any special care all summer, but upon returning from our Ithaca trip all we had was a shriveled brown ghost of what it had once been. Sadness.

The story still has a happy ending. As I pulled the dead vine from the fence the other day I discovered this:

I know I won’t be winning awards at the state fair or anything, but I have to say I’m still quite proud that my accident trip into pumpkin farming produced at least one (teeny tiny) cool white pumpkin. And it’s not even oddly shaped or covered with warts, it’s a pretty cute little guy if I do say so myself. Perhaps I’ll plant this one somewhere intentionally so its legacy can still live on! After Sherry has some decorating fun with it of course…

Do any of you intentionally grow pumpkins or have any tips for me if I decide to give it another go? I’m inclined to think it’s pretty easy to do if I made it this far without trying.