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Harvesting in the Desert

  Hello all,
   I am an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Service Learning Program at Arizona 
State University.  I work with a school in South Phoenix, where we have 
established 2 school and community gardens.  Right now, I'm talking with the 
teachers and finding out what plants and vegetables would be of interest to 
their students to harvest.  One teacher specifically mentioned planting 
pumpkins.  I have 3 packets of seeds of pumpkin seeds:
1) Lumina, 80-90 days harvest.
2) Jack Be Little, 95 days harvest.
3) Baby Bear, 105 days harvest.
I understand that if planted, the pumpkins will not arrive in time for 
halloween and perhaps not even Thanksgiving.  It would be nice, though. :)
   I do not know if any of you are familiar with desert climates and soil 
conditions.  There is the possibility that I can plant gourds instead of 
pumpkins, but I would love the challenge of growing pumpkins in the desert.  
Also, I think it would be a valuable learning experience for the children.
   Also, if any of you have recommendations about desert gardening, I would 
love to hear your ideas.  I have never dealt with gardening before, so this 
is all quite new to me as well.
   Thank you!
  Erica Clarke

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