Update On Our Pumpkin Jack

Pumpkin Jack In Early DecemberWarning! The pictures in this post get disgusting! Back in November, I posted that we were going to try to grow our own Pumpkin Jack, like the boy in the book, of the same name, did.  In November, we tossed our Pumpkin Jack into one of our raised beds and left him alone. I really started worrying that this was not going to work, because Jack showed no signs of decomposition until December (in the top photo in this post, you can see some brown spots on his skin, three months after we harvested him!). Even then, Jack did not seem like he was really going to rot, until mid-January. Once he started rotting, however, he has been rotting fast! Unlike what happened to the boy in the book, we have not had any snow to cover up Jack through all of this, so we’ve got to see every step of Jack’s decomposition!Pumpkin Jack 12-18-12Mid-December and he’s still not looking very impressive.Pumpkin Jack 1-2-13Early January saw some frost and Jack started getting black spots.Pumpkin Jack 1-6-13 - 1A few days later, his skin began to pucker.Pumpkin Jack 1-9-13 - 3I worried that Jack might attract rodents, but only one animal took a small bite out of Jack and then spit out the bite a couple of feet away.Pumpkin Jack 1-13-13 3Since then, nothing has touched Jack. I guess word on the street now is to stay away from things growing in our garden! Pumpkin Jack 1-13-13 1Mid-January and Jack is beginning to collapse in on himself.Pumpkin Jack 1-24-13 - 1A week later, he’s collapsed some more and he’s developing a pretty large spot of rot on his behind.Pumpkin Jack 2-4-13Early February now and Jack is beginning to show some real rottenness, there is hope that he will rot enough to “sow” his seeds for another generation of pumpkins! Alas, poor Jack, I knew him well!

I had worried that Jack would stink or attract fruit flies, but thus far, Jack has not emitted a single odor and I’ve not seen a single fly. I am prepared to discontinue this experiment at a moment’s notice, however, if any of that changes.

Finally, I have found this to be a bit odd, but not a single visitor has asked us why we have a rotting pumpkin in our backyard….

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Labels: Gardening, Nature Study, Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff