Nothing says October like a farmer trying to sell pumcchini

Our friend Monique Maas hawks her crossbred gourds on Center Island.

BETWEEN WIND-TUNNEL GALES and rains enough to quench a mighty forest’s thirst, we had a lovely cool October day this week, and as I strolled in the lemony sunshine I met our resident farmer, Monique, with a basket of interesting gourds she was adding to her farmstand.

They were a sort of noncommittal, Creamsicle orange. They weren’t round like pumpkins. They were sort of stretched out like zucchini. They were pumcchini.

Yes, when you grow pumpkins and zucchini in the same garden, bees visit both and the occasional mixed-up offspring results. The gourds aren’t really good for eating, Monique said. And if you carved one as a Jack-o-lantern, it would quickly fall on its face.

But they’re decorative in a basket on your kitchen table, Monique said. She put $1 pricetags on each. That’s a bargain for produce that is Center Island Grown.

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