The Fall Harvest: Sunflower Seeds & Baby Pumpkins

Truth be told, we have a huge yard and we don't use it to grow food. I wish we did. I wish we had enough time. The kids find the process by which a tiny seed can produce a giant plant like this gigantic sunflower to be both magical and fascinating. And it truly is. The reality is, though, we travel far too much in the summer to really tend to a full-blown vegetable garden. Maybe next year. There's always next year.

But, for now, what we do have growing are lots of herbs that just never seems to die (even through the winter) and these two plants that my daughter grew from seeds for a science project at the end of her last school year. Supposedly she had two pumpkin seeds, but, as they grew, one seemed far taller and developed a different set of leaves. "I don't think that is a pumpkin, sweetie. Let's plant it outside and see what happens." Well, it turns out it, it was actually a giant sunflower. We watched great anticipation as it grew taller and taller over the summer--reaching a height of about six feet--until it finally unfurled into a luscious yellow flower. It's current state is pictured above. We have eaten shucked some of the shells and eaten the seeds raw. They have a flavor similar to new English green peas. The remaining seeds will be harvested and roasted in the next week.

One seed, was in fact a pumpkin, but after the vine produced male upon male flower, we had no hopes that it would actually produce a pumpkin. Birth, after all is a right granted to the female.

Then one day, I noticed one vine started growing up the brick wall, and what did I see, a little pumpkin. Coerced down to the ground, I placed the baby safely on the dirt where it is now thriving. My daughter was thrilled. A few other little guys are fighting to make it; let's see if the insects let them survive with their more developed green sibling. Crossing fingers!


  1. If this is what you can do when you're not trying to have a garden, imagine what you can do when you are! I especially loved the close up of the sunflower seeds.

    1. Thanks Abby! Hopefully we can at least have a small plot next year. Thankfully, these plants were very independent and didn't need much from us!

  2. In the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe - they are frequently sold in the shell, whereas in Western Europe and America they are favored out of shell.


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