Pumpkins for Polio Auction & Harvest Market

What a night!  We raised $1,035.00 for the night plus $375.00 from the pumpkin cup over for the past couple of months, then more on World Polio Day and Nancy’s bid gave us a new total of $1,525.00 to date for our Pumpkins for Polio effort. And we keep adding! As of November 16 we are at $2,463. Way to go!


For the story of our pumpkins project

Nancy was winning bid on our last pumpkin!

Nancy and her special Happy Birthday pumpkin!


Fun and kind of scary!


Wahoo!  Look at what Judy Soldavini and her painting team created with our pumpkins for Thursday’s Pumpkins for Polio Auction!  Join the fun and frolicking auction at our Thursday evening social! 

Click for a printable flyer Pumpkins for Polio Auction.

Our pumpkins are now harvested!

A Big thanks to Cathy Wilcox-Barnes and John Drew owner of BakBraken Acres for creating a special partnership so our Club can grow Pumpkins for Polio.
Cathy grew the young pumpkin starts at home this spring. In May, John, Chris Newsom, Walt and Sandy Stickel, Cathy's grandson Aidan and even little Tuco joined Cathy in Chicago Park digging in the dirt to plant pumpkins at Bak Brakken Acres. Cathy, Tom Ryan, Rotary friend Gloria, and Robin have been going out through the summer to weed and care for our plants. Unfortunately, the 2-striped cucumber beetle is prolific this year due to the heavy, wet winter and they ate numerous pumpkin plants.  We spent the early summer weeding plants and dusting with diatomaceous earth when needed to protect our plants.
But on June 26 we spotted our first pumpkin forming! We continued to see more each week. Summer was about managing our irrigation lines, fighting off the aggressive cucumber beetle, and gleaning delicious raspberries and boysenberries for ourselves.
In addition to caring for our pumpkins we harvested garlic, snap peas, tomatoes, peppers, along with the berries. Thanks to John’s generosity we took our harvest home for personal consumption! We won't be selling as many pumpkins on our inaugural event as we hoped but we have loved the berries, tomatoes, garlic, and other good things to eat along the way!
We harvested the pumpkins in October (about a 90-day growing period) and are set to sell and auction them at our October 19 Social. Our pumpkin harvest should be a perfect advance to World Polio Day on October 24!
BakBraken Acres Farm has been certified organic since the late 1970's. John Drew is one of the original organizers of the Nevada County Certified Growers Market which was at the Fairgrounds, the North Star House and now in Pine Creek Shopping Center. At one time he provided organic produce to a number of stores and restaurants in Nevada and Placer County but he is slowing down and this year he isn't planning on planting very much. We were given access to an area of the farm to grow our pumpkins and helped harvest other veggies.

Pumpkins for Polio Pond Party

The farm has a beautiful pond where we landed for our Pumpkins for Polio Pond Party! If you missed our Pumpkins for Polio Pond Party, you missed out on some really good farm fresh foods (plus extras). Cathy's fresh baked blackberry and raspberry scones with berry sauces and crème fraîche were exceptionally delicious!
Learn more about Rotary’s End Polio Now.

Cathy and Farmer John with our final harvest!

Congratulations and well done to all who participated with us through the Spring, Summer and into Fall!  It has been a fun project filled with lots of laughs along the way!
While Nevada City Celebrated with Pumpkins, Carolyn Feuille and Bob celebrated in New Zealand with Queenstown Rotary club. They participated with President Neil Boniface and the Club’s End Polio Fundraiser. One of the many special connections we share through Rotary International!

A big thank you to our World Polio Day crew — Tom Ryan, Judy, Dennis, Sandy, Walt and Cathy for setting up in Nevada City to share the story of polio.

Photo credits: Pixabay.com/WOKANDAPIX, and GardenGG Nevada City Rotarians, Rotary.org