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May 06, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds, Chickens, and Bees (Oh My!)

It's been busy around here with at least some garden prep and planting happening daily. In addition to the vegetable garden, I'm trying to set up a cutting garden, hoping to grow enough to provide flowers for my mom's bed and breakfast, in addition to our eggs.

The potatoes are in, the early tomatoes are tucked away under their tunnel, and I started dozens of squash plants this week (I try to start them on May 1st every year). We've had a cooler than normal spring, so hopefully it's not going to prove too early this year. Fingers crossed that the weather warms up in the next few weeks!

One squash variety that I tried for the first time last year was the Kakai pumpkin. While I usually grow pumpkins for their tasty flesh, I have always found their seeds to be a delicious by-product.


I started buying pepitas (hulless pumpkin seeds) a couple of years ago to add to my favorite salad. The only thing I don't like about them is they're quite expensive to buy, and the thought of shelling thousands of homegrown pumpkin seeds myself was a bit daunting, so I was happy to find a variety that would produce them naturally.


After separating the seeds from the pulp, all I did was rinse them well and spread them out to dry. We have them on our salad almost daily, and I truly believe that their abundant health benefits have helped keep me flu-free this winter. I know there are a couple of other varieties of pumpkin that produce this type of seed (Snackface or Snack Jack for example), and I'd be interested in hearing about your experience if you've grown them.


The chickens who were suffering after last month's eagle attack have both recovered fully, and are back living with the general population. Pippin (the one that the eagle actually grabbed) has a slightly misshapen skull and a wicked case of bed-head, but she's regaining her strength and seems able to see out of both eyes again.

I'll be back soon with an update on the mason bees, and to introduce you to my new friend, Jay, who's an expert on raising honey bees without chemicals. I'm hoping he'll teach me everything I need to know to set up my own hives in the coming year.

See you then!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was the flesh of the kakai pumpkin flavorful too? If so, I may need to investigate them because I consume massive amounts of pepitas too. In addition to salads, I also like them in my morning oatmeal.

Jenny

Erin said...

I'm looking forward to your post about honey bees, chemical-free. I live on an organic farm, and that's the only way I can and want to go. We hope to add honeys soon, maybe next spring, and this year we've got masons and have to set them up soon.

Interesting about that pumpkn variety, did you get your seed locally? i'm on the west coast in the fraser valley

Cheryl said...

Erin - Yes the seeds are local, I got them from West Coast Seeds.

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