The 3rd Annual Pick-and-Paint-Pumpkin-Patch-Party, presented by Painted Peacock Productions, (aka PaPPPP pbPPP) was a success! We had about 50 kids and about 100 pumpkins, so I let each kid take as many has (s)he wanted. Some of the kids took 3 or 4, which meant some of the parents went home carrying 5 or 6
The Luminas were very popular, and every single one got picked, save one hiding under some pretty spiny stems. They also tolerated being early very well, as none of them rotted, and they didn't even get the bumpy callouses suffered by the JOLs. My 3 Lumina vines also produced pretty well, and I think I got 10-12 decent-sized fruit, total. They were dense and heavy, and the skins were beautifully smooth and uniform.
The Jarrahdales were a mixed bag. One of my 3 vines died, so I only had 2 left, and those 2 produced 6-7 fruit, but they got peacock-bitten, so some were grossly misshapen. The biggest "problem" with these is that the fruit aren't brightly colored, so they ended up being hidden under the foliage, and a lot of the kids never even saw them. But those that got picked were well used, and produced some very artistic results. Here's a Jarrahdale, the 4th pumpkin chosen by this young neighbor of mine:
The 15 Jack-O-Lantern vines (including volunteers) were fine, as always. I got 3-4 fruit/vine, but they don't tolerate sitting on the ground for 6 weeks very well. I have ~15 that rotted to unusability, and another 15 that the kids "just didn't like" because they got those bumpy callouses on the ground side.
Of the ~30 pumpkins I have left over (of varying quality) I doubt I can use more than 5-6 for food, myself, so my neighbors' horses will get a few.
I also grew some Sugar Pie and Spooktacular, but I couldn't really tell them apart from the small JOLs because the vines grew so rampant and criss-crossed each other. But the small pumpkins (of any type) were very popular amongst the girls who didn't want to carry a big honkin' fruit.
My two Big Max vines made 2 decent size (20-40 lbs) fruits apiece, which I put a few at the top of the driveway and at the front door for decoration. The other two were taken by ambitious kids, much to the chagrin of their parents who had to carry them home
I may try jal_ut's suggestion and grow a few Connecticut Field vines next year.
And the Atlantic Giants' [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=277741#277741]tale is told, here[/url].
All in all, a very successful pumpkin season, and I'm already looking forward to next year!!!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!