From Surviving to Thriving

The story of the baby pumpkins on the roof

In the fall of 2019, we added a variety of mature pumpkins to our rooftop outdoor classroom. We treated the pumpkins as “loose parts”. The children moved them about, often working together to carry the heavy gourds from place to place. Some burst open after lots of man-handling, others rotted on their own. Needless to say, the birds who find refuge in our city garden delighted in the new food source. Eventually, the pumpkins melded into the landscape and gardens.

That is, until the summer of 2020 arrived. Then we noticed vines growing in interesting places: the flower beds, among the bamboo, around the fig plants, and in the garden beds. Before long, the mysterious vines were dotted with yellow and orange blooms as they cascaded through the vertical plants. One day a very observant two year old noticed a small orange growth at the base of a bloom.

“Baby pumpkins!” the youngster shouted, bringing others in closer for another look. Sure enough, the children, wind, and birds scattered the seeds from last year across the roof, and several took hold and became “volunteer plants”. So far, we have at least four small pumpkins dangling from the vines making our unconventional pumpkin patch even more special. When there is a will, there is a way!

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