Pumpkin Seeds Drying on Newsprint
We did not do well with pumpkins this year. The first planting rotted in the soil. Same as the corn. Pot starts were no better, quickly rotting their vines when transplanted from pots to soil. The soil was cold, staying in the 40’s and 50’s all too long. This was followed by wet weather until the end of July. The second planting of everything was still struggling in the cool wet summer.
This was a year when locally grown, self-sufficiency takes a hard beating. Too many years like this in a row and people start thinking of taking drastic measures like emigrating to the new world or out west. Fortuntately were not faced with snow every month of the year although that happened back, what in 1995?, killed my tomatoes. They died this year too though even without that – some blight. Some fruit but it never turned.
The pumpkins finally took off when it warmed up the end of July. They got vines out to 20′ with lots of flowers by the end of August, but it was really too late. Of the 250 or so pumpkins I planted we got a measily five or six, none of which were fully ripe. The best seeds from those are saved and drying. I’m dubious that they’ll grow next year.
Pumpkin seeds are great fried and eaten but we need these for growing next year.
Pumpkin seeds are great for deworming livestock but again we need the seeds.
Flesh of pumpkins is high in fibers and sugars which stores well making it a good livestock and human feed.
Outdoors: 59째F/23째F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68째F/60째F
Emigrating south wouldn't have done you much good this year. As I understand it, the pumpkin crop here took a similar beating. On top of everything else, we had a rainy September and a lot of them rotted on the vine. My own tomato crop (usually my favorite) was a big disappointment due to blight (my first experience with it). Next year I'm going try heirloom seed, start it in my (soon to be constructed from a salvaged dog kennel, pvc, and plastic) greenhouse.
Compost worms loooove leftover pumpkin parts too, although I am sure your pigs take whatever you do not use.
Yes, we planted a lot as well, several times, and got barely a wheelbarrow full from all the melons, squash, pumpkins and gourds. It was a disappointing year, but full of learning experiences.
I hope your seeds sprout next year and take with them the ability to withstand cool and wet weather.
We had a long, cold spring and then killing frost in Spetember. Besides the cool weather, I wonder if my garden soil was a little too enriched, causing excessive vine growth? I did till in massive amounts of composted horse and chicken poop mixed with a ton (literally) of straw, 20 or so bags of shavings, and a couple hundred trash bags of leaves. Like you, my squash vines grew tremendously but seemed to create fruit rather late, and my tomato vines also turned into an impenetrable jungle 6' wide all down the row. All the tomatoes were near the ground and as it turned out (when the vines died and I could see) there were hundreds of them… but not a one turned red. I only got two orange pumpkins, but I did get a dozen or so massive Hubbard and Sweet Meat ripe squash.
I wasn't able to do my usual leaf collecting in town this year so I'll see how the garden goes next year without any extra tilled in.
WOW I am impressed! I love what you guys are doing and love that you are proving farming can be successful and sustainable on a family farm size scale.
Hey Walter, how do you feed the pumpkins to the pigs?
It is fairly simple. One makes a societal introduction: Pig, this is pumpkin. Pumpkin, this is pig. Pig eat pumpkin. Pumpkin go forth and spread your seed. All joking aside, we simply turn the pigs out into pumpkin patches come fall and early winter.
I am looking for pumpkins and garlic seeds to plant in my farm. I would be grateful for your assistance. You can email me
One source I would recommend is Johnny’s Seeds in Maine.