The setting sun casts a warm glow across a field at Five Foot Farm destined to become a Pumpkin Patch. Photos by Mari Erin Roth

It’s better outdoors

Laughing Five Foot Farm owner Elizabeth Powell has perfected her Tom Sawyer impression.

Summer sports and recreation come in many forms. Finding, cutting, gathering, loading, hauling and stacking wood isn’t a sport … but maybe it should be. Surely we don’t want to classify it as “work” or “chores” because then it would be too hard to do. Would it really be stretching it to call it “recreation?” Probably.

But gardening, that surely is recreation. It brings enjoyment, can be physically strenuous, is a healthy activity, the products can be shared and it takes us outdoors in the fresh clean air.

Tom Sawyer was a genius when he showed how much fun it is to whitewash a fence and it seems Elizabeth Powell of Five Foot Farm in Quincy was taking notes in English class.

Entrepreneur Powell put a special invitation out for a “Pumpkin Patch Plant Out.” She described the task as “fun and pretty quick.” She did let slip the goal of planting 2,200 linear feet of winter squash in one evening.

Planting time was set for a friendly 5 to 7:30 p.m., with an option to “bring the kiddos.” As the day cooled and the sun cast an orange, pumpkin-colored glow across the expansive and awaiting rows, incredibly, a whole crew of people showed up to “get ‘er done.”

Children may have outnumbered adults, but that just made work rotation easier. The youngsters were closest to the beverage cooler and snacks provided by the farm for their “workers.”

Various styles and methods utilized the measuring tools provided, but all were pretty darn casual. The atmosphere was infectious. Sudden urges rose in the volunteers to run home and plant something.

Before the sun set, healthy squash starts found their new homes habitable, smiles graced faces of both young and old, and the view included a newly planted field of winter squash. Powell invited folks to pick a basket of fresh, sun-ripened strawberries for the road before departing.

Surprisingly, it turned out to be a relaxing way to end a day at the office. And, you may feel bad for missing out on all the fun and strawberries, but have faith, if you play you’re your cards right, Elizabeth might let you help next year.

Local pepper-farming whiz Alan Morrison knows exactly which pose to strike while planting pumpkins.