I'm pretty good at carving pumpkins, but I never thought to sculpt my pumpkins while they were growing until Nancy Parker sent me this guest posting. If you want to cause a few double-takes, follow Nancy's steps and have some fun watching the puzzled faces, as your friends try to figure out how you did it. Marie~
Why settle for the plain and ordinary vegetables when you can add a bit of a unique look and feel to your produce? Square pumpkins and watermelons can be found in a variety of farmer's markets and even some grocery stores. However, have you ever wondered how the farmer got them that shape to begin with? What it boils down to is displacement of space. Essentially, anyone can create their own works of art by incorporating shapes into food products. Here is how you "wow" the community.
1. Normal Beginning - While there isn't a "square pumpkin" seed currently on the market that will yield such produce, you can shape your food products by first starting them off growing like normal. No additional or special additives are needed in order to develop your cubic delights. However, a degree of successful growing can be achieved from using Miracle Grow discs and transplanting your seedlings to the garden once they reach a specific height for your preferred produce.
Note: Fruits and vegetables that have a hard exterior are the best to use.
The same principles are difficult to use on soft fruits such as a tomato, due to the thin and malleable skin. Pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupe and others are perfect for reshaping due to the fact that their "shells" will retain the shape.
2. A Box - In order to grow a square edible, you need to build a box that will force the produce to assume the shape. Now, this box needs to be somewhat proportionate to the full mass of the mature vegetable. This means that a full sized pumpkin will not fit in a one inch by one inch square cube. The full size of the produce is going to fill the box or cube and the total mass needs to be accounted for. Some have had success using large cinder blocks, acrylic sheets or wooden planks screwed together.
The box needs to be able to support the shape given the amount of pressure that the produce is going to put onto the material. This is why brick, cement, acrylic panels or thick wood is utilized for the development. As the pumpkin or other produce grows, it will add additional pressure on the box.
3. Growing the Shaped Vegetable - Once the produce begins to grow, you will need to place the box around the fruit. It must remain in position as the fruit grows otherwise you can jeopardize it. You want to be careful upon placing the box over the fruit for you don't want to damage the plant or the fruit itself. Other than placing the structure, you water and feed the plant just like you normally would.
4. Harvesting - Once your pumpkin or other vegetable is ready to be harvested, carefully remove the box structure. This process is delicate especially if you use cinder blocks or cement. There is little chance you will be able to slide the produce out, so you need to dismantle the box entirely. Carefully hammer out the cinder block or cement, unscrew the side panels of your wooden box, unlatch the acrylic panels or otherwise remove the construct.
If you are inventive, any shape can be theoretically accomplished aside from square. As long as you are able to accommodate the total mass of the produce type, you should be able to make other interesting developments such as pyramids, cylinders, faces and more.
Nancy Parker is a regular contributor to www.enannysource.com and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @ gmail.com
Note from Marie Iannotti: Until I can produce one of these curiosities myself, take a look at what can be done with pumpkins, watermelons, even the humble cucumber, at Mental Floss.
The plastic frames are pricey, but Nancy has given us some much less expensive options. I may experiment with a plastic box, wired or otherwise securely closed, so the pumpkin doesn't burst out.
In the meantime, get growing: