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The Gift of Gourds

Halfway between Sumner and Orting, WA, on Hwy 162, there’s a stoplight and a homemade sign with an arrow pointing west. ” Scholz Farm,” it says.  And below it, next to a hand-printed list of produce, is a picture of a pumpkin.  If you’re heading south or driving in the direction of Mount Rainier, you’ll want to turn right at the light and the sign.

Which is what we did these last three years–turned right at the sign.  Because on November 1st, from the time the clock says it’s daylight until 1:oo p.m. when the field is plowed under, Scholz Farm allows anyone to come and take whatever is left from their pumpkin patch, from their squash bins, and from their gourds.  For free.


And people come.  By the truck and vanload.  And they park on the side of the patch and heft pumpkins into their vehicle as fast as they might throw sandbags to plug a dyke leak.  They bumble around with borrowed wheelbarrows and bounce through the ruts for repeated trips.  And then lest their car crumple with two tons of pumpkins inside, they drive away slowly, hood in the sky, to the creak of their vehicle suspension.

It’s a thing to behold.

Which might make you wonder, like I do, what they’re going to do with 85 pumpkins when they get home.

Well…here we are at Scholz Farm on Monday.  About a soggy a day as they come.

And here are the bins of squash and gourds free for the taking.  If you’re in to squash and gourds.

And here’s the guy–or one of ’em–who makes Christmas happen every first of November.  And who shrugged as if to say, “why the hell not,” when I asked to take his picture.

I just wanted my kids to know whom to thank.

Here’s our loot in the wheelbarrow.  Which might leave you wondering what we’re going to do with 12 pumpkins.  And, well, I was thinking the same.  Only my daughter would tell you that we’re going to carve them.  For four consecutive nights, apparently.

By which time she’ll talk me into making pumpkin pie.

Only I’ll resist… Until my stomach growls–specifically for pie.

But back to the patch.  And the biggest pile of wood chips my kids had ever stepped on in the rain.

And a tractor whose small lake on the seat didn’t stop my son from sitting down.

That’s Scholz Farm.  Muddy, puddly, gray and wet.  But…Graciously giving out of their abundance.

May they reap what they have generously sown.

Year after year.  After year.


One Response to “The Gift of Gourds”

  1. The Man says:

    I love it!!!

    You have the cutest kids. I might be biased.

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