Pumpkin Spice Everything
Pumpkins, a cousin of cucumbers, watermelons, luffas, and zucchini are edible and quite tasty! In technical botanic speak, pumpkins fill the “What am I going to eat in December!?” niche. Most were bred to have tough skin to supply calories and nutrients well into the winter.
Per Cup of roasted pumpkin: Calories 49, Protein 2 g, Carbohydrate 12 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Calcium 37 mg, Iron 1.4 mg, Magnesium 22 mg, Potassium 564 mg, Zinc 1 mg, Selenium .50 mg, Vitamin C 12 mg, Niacin 1 mg, Folate 21 mg, Vitamin A 2650 IU, Vitamin E 3 mg.
One of our best sellers is this…
The Musque De Province; we call it a Fairy Tale Pumpkin. It originated in Provence, where it is still eaten today. It has a mild flavor that can be used in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. It is often eaten as a street food in France; roasted whole, sliced along the ribs, and seasoned with different spice mixtures... yes, you can use pumpkin spice. It is then served wrapped in parchment paper.
The most commonly eaten is this weirdo!
The Blue Hubbard has a small seed chamber, thus most of the volume is meat. Its mass to volume ratio makes it perfect for mass produced canned pumpkin. You can use anywhere pumpkin or winter squash is called for.
My favorite is this guy.
The Speckled Hound. This is a true winter squash and should last for months! It is the perfect size and shape for easy roasting, just toss it in an oven on a cookie sheet until the skin is soft. The best part is the pale orange meat is dryer than most which makes it especially sweet! Perfect for desserts and breads!
My last to mention is this unassuming guy.
Sometimes called tiger stripe or the Styrian Pumpkin. The meat is nothing special, however it's pretty and a different coloration than most, so it definitely has its use. But this Austrian squash has a secret if you cut it open…
Its seeds are completely hulless. Most pumpkins seeds look like the image on the left vs the right. Roasting them is a breeze!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin or winter squash, at least one cup of cleaned seeds
The amount of oil and spices will vary with the volume of seeds collected.
½ tablespoon of oil per cup of seeds.
.5 t of salt per cup of seeds
1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Hollow out Tiger Stripe Pumpkin (or any pumpkin or winter squash)
3. The seeds will be attached to some membrane, so rinse in a colander and lightly scrub with cloth towels (seeds will stick to paper). It is not necessary to completely clean the seeds. Excess membrane is edible and will dry.
3B. (If using a non tiger stripe squash, skip drying. Bring some salted water to a boil and dump seeds in to pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain, and let dry on a cookie sheet.)
4. Toss seeds with your favorite oil(coconut, olive, melted butter…) and salt. Use other seasonings as desired. ½ t Worcestershire sauce is nice...Pumpkin Pie spice… the sky is the limit, but leave sugar out until after roasted.
5. Spread on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes.(15-20 for hulled pumpkin seeds) Some will pop when they are done.
6. Remove from oven(add sugar or herbs at this point and toss, if necessary), lift foil off of pan and place on cooling rack.
Scarf down right away, store in airtight container, make brittle, add to soups or bread, or use them in pesto.
One of our hibiscus got an infestation of aphids. A lot of plants might have them will all of the temperature and humidity swings, and enough rain in August to kill the drought only for a couple counties to slip back into the drought. All of those extremes can stress plants and open them up to pests. Those of you with milk weeds are probably seeing lots of yellow guys on your plants right now.
Unfortunately, I started treating it before I took pictures.
Aphids usually attack the growth tips where the plant puts most of it's sugars and is most easily punctured. On the buds (and thumb) above, they are the white and brown specs. Like other soft bodied pests (spider mites, etc), they are actually pretty easy to git rid of. You just have to torture your plants! The best treatment for aphids is....
It may take a couple treatments, but it will work but with no pesticides! If the infestation is really bad, and on multiple plants, following up the spraying with Neem Oil, diatomaceous earth, or insecticidal soap is advised. Doing so will kill off these guys..
Simply using the high pressure spray won't hurt the Aphid Lions. The will get knocked off, but climb back up and morph into Lady Beetles! Where as any of the insecticides will kill them too.
Kathy and Alex have combined experience of over 25 years, and offer their expertise here.