90 pumpkins curing, two dozen still on the vine, and 87 Pre-schoolers and Pre-kindergarters anticipating our Harvest Day Parade in 10 days’ time… I think we have it covered!
Following advice from the University of Illinois Agricultural Extension Service, we’ve harvested the majority of our pumpkins and are curing them inside the Growing Room. Ideal curing should be at 80-85°F with 80-85 percent relative humidity for 10 days. This is done to prolong the post harvest life of the pumpkin fruit because during this process the fruit skin hardens, wounds heal and immature fruit ripens.
A few more numbers: we used Charisma F1 hybrids this year, a selection from Johnny’s Seeds which was developed by Johnny’s in conjunction with Cornell University to be a PMT variety (powdery mildew tolerant); 250 seeds for $10.95; average weight 14-18lbs; 1.5 fruits per reduced-length vine; maturing in 98 days; so at 5 seeds per mound, and 25 mounds in total, planted July 14th… our 3 and 4 year-olds will continue the tradition on October 31st!
But the math also means that we’ll have some left over for our Junior Chefs to have a go at making these delicious Pumpkin Cheesecakes following a recipe by food-blogger and Iron Chef America judge, Pim Techamuanvivit!