My eyes are increasing drawn to things that are glaringly different. That can be a good or a bad thing. I was at the wholesale warehouse of Waling-Waling Orchids or Puentespina Farms at the Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City the other day, and they were chockfull of “Fall” pumpkins and decorative gourds. Inside their ginormous walk-in chiller, they had perhaps a couple of hundred jack-o-lantern pumpkins in all kinds shapes of sizes (some up to 50 kilos or more), but this particular, somewhat bizarre pumpkin is what caught my eye, and I ended up bringing it home… :)
Labelled an “Atlantic Dill” pumpkin with a small piece of paper attached with scotch tape (much more desirable that the pentel pen markings on other pumpkins that render them aesthetically challenged from the get go), this 9 kilo pumpkin looked part diseased, part mutant. Instead of the classic bright orange and relatively smooth skin, this had unusual, irregular bumps and veins of green all over its skin. I think the label, “atlantic dill” was not only a misnomer, I think the more correct name of a pumpkin type is Dill’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin, but I suspect this may not have really have been an Atlantic Giant at all… but with so many closely related pumpkin cousins, all that matters really is what it looks like (assuming you aren’t buying it to cook with).
The nine-kilo pumpkin now sits on an altar table in our living room, alongside some other unusually shaped gourds, also from Puentespina. Without blemishes or barring some pest worming its way into the fruit’s flesh, these should easily last the month of October until Hallow’s Eve.
The selection at Puentespina was superb a few days ago, so if you are in the market for a halloween pumpkin (a REAL one) or some decorative gourds, head to their Manila Seedling Bank soon. The gourds were PHP180 per kilo, the pumpkins ranged from PHP120 a kilo for the small ones to PHP80 a kilo for the larger ones like the unusual one in this post. I suspect you can bargain down any truly humongous pumpkins to a more reasonable price. If I were going to be home for this year’s trick or treating evening, I would have gotten several more pumpkins to lay out on the front lawn…
The seemingly endless selection of gourds meant I kept adding one more and then another to my basket before I finally paid my bill. The excuse was that I was buying gourds to put in our restaurants in Cebu, but of course I picked out the most interesting ones for our holiday spread at home.
A view of the backside of the large pumpkin, with the dining table in the background, set for a small dinner with friends, the first of the “ber” holiday season…
Yellow and orange roses massed in low glass vases continued the fall pumpkin theme of colors… linen placemats in orange and fuschia made for a lively table setting. Of course the pumpkin made for some interesting discussions before we sat down to dinner. :)
Can you tell the Fall (in a temperate country) is one of my favorite times of the year? :)