Pumpkin has become the communal vegetable for me. It is something I seem to neither grow nor eat alone. When not bought, my annual source has become autumn working bees at my community garden. I am not even sure where they all come from, but at the end of every summer we find ourselves launching into the task of reclaiming some soil for the next season’s planting, or even just from the organic jungle that pumpkin so easily collaborates in. Some are certainly planted, but others just as likely from compost – which for many cucurbits, as well as tomatoes and capsicums (including chillies) is a favoured way of seed dispersal.
This year, yesterday actually, one big blue pumpkin (pictured above) made it to the table, although dwarfed by the massive Halloween style behemoth of a couple of years ago (pictured below). Come the end of the working bee, they are cut up and left to be foraged by the assembled workers. If you missed out on a slice, you may have alternatively got one of the smaller Japanese pumpkins in the haul. There seems to be no system and no formal code, just a general trust that nobody would take an unreasonable share. Apart from the rats that is – for this years biggest fruit it took being wrapping in wire chook mesh for it find its way into 8 separate kitchens.