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Brian Minter: Planting pumpkins brings collectively a group

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In early October, two more ripe pumpkins went missing, and it was at this point that the neighbors really got engaged. Rahim’s 13-year-old granddaughter put up a sign congratulating Henry on his great job growing pumpkins. Henry responded with a sign that read, “Thank you, Joe Sr.” He also built a sign asking whoever took the pumpkins to please return them. Suddenly 10 new pumpkins appeared in the patch, placed by a neighbor they barely knew. In addition, another beautiful pumpkin appeared anonymously.

Another sign popped up from another neighbor and said, “Henry, your amazing pumpkin garden inspired us to grow pumpkins next year. Thanks, Henry. “

Megan, Brad, and Henry were pretty blown away by the caring community spirit in the neighborhood of helping a 10-year-old grow pumpkin efforts. Rahim was also deeply moved by her community’s reaction, not only to a young person’s gardening success, but also how we can support each other in small but meaningful ways in the real-life challenges we all face. Rahim took photos of all the characters to record this story.

Henry’s father told me that with all the pumpkins that turned up, Henry could share them with his neighborhood friends. “You can see them on all the porches,” he said. Henry kept one of his original pumpkins for himself to use as a family lantern.

I asked Henry if he would grow pumpkins next year and he assured me that he was. When asked if he would choose a different variety, he replied, “Well, I like pumpkin pie, so I could add some pie squash to the mix.”

Well done Henry.

During a major pandemic, this kind of togetherness reminds us of who we really are as Canadians.

Henry looks out over his pumpkin patch growing in the family's front yard.  For Brian Minter garden pillar.Henry looks out over his pumpkin patch growing in the family’s front yard. jpg

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