Pumpkin Smash Returns!

Join us to celebrate 25 years of community gardening and our end-of-season party at the annual Pumpkin Smash Potato Bake Bash.  

Come on out Saturday, November 4, from 12-4 pm (rain date: Sunday, November 5) to smash your jack-o-lantern and enjoy a hot potato.

Please see the flyer for more information, and continue below to learn about the history of this event, written years ago by Redelia N., one of our founding members, as dictated to her daughter and another founding member, Traci N.

In fall 1997, we cleared the garden of car doors and other parts — sofas, broken dishes, mugwort and of course, the dreaded knotweed and other debris. The following spring, with the assistance of Dan N. cutting the boards, we built new boxes during Memorial Day weekend, filled the boxes with wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of soil, and after that, the planting was on!

At a meeting during the early fall of 1998, one of our former members (John S.) suggested we have an end-of-season party to reward ourselves for all the hard work. Someone suggested after Halloween and invite the community too so they could recycle their tired jack-o-lanterns. Someone else suggested we smash them against the wall before adding them to our compost pile; yet another suggested we should have baked potatoes and other snacks.

We thought on what to name our event since we were throwing pumpkins, so someone came up with pumpkin smash, and since we were serving potatoes, it was a potato bake too. The name “Pumpkin Smash Potato Bake Bash” was suggested, and everyone agreed.

We served baked potatoes — both white and sweet — and cold and mulled cider. Each member brought food stuffs for the event, even marshmallows for the kids and the kids at heart. Music was provided compliments of the Pantones (and in subsequent years as well) and with Stan B. and his gang when they were available. A simple flyer was made. It was posted around the neighborhood primarily by Joseph J.; other members posted the flyers in their building lobbies and under doorways. 

Thus the Pumpkin Smash Potato Bake Bash was born! It was not the idea of one sole person but a communal, group effort of the truly dedicated garden members. It has become one of our garden’s signature events.

Later on, in order to save our garden from destruction, a full contingency of garden members went to our local community board to elicit their support in the preservation of us as a community garden. We spoke of the various programs that we planned as a service to the community, such as youth gardening, movie nights, voter registration drives, pumpkin composting and other events.

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