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Harvesting Pumpkin

Now that pumpkin harvesting time is upon us, I thought I'd pass along a few tips.

 

First, how to identify which pumpkins are ready for harvest. The pumpkins should be solid orange (unless you have a different colored variety, of course.) The skin should be hard and solid with no soft spots. The attached vine may or may not be starting to dry and die; that is not important.

Second, how to harvest. Many people just pull the pumpkins right off the vine. This is fine if you are using the pumpkin immediately. However, if you plan on storing the pumpkin for any length of time, this will encourage premature rot. Instead, you want to use very sharp kitchen or gardening scissors to cleanly cut the vine about two inches above the pumpkin.

Third, how to store the pumpkin. Do not wash the pumpkins; mother nature puts many things in place to keep foods fresh longer, don't rinse those down the drain. Instead, simply brush off any significant mud or dirt. Then store in a cool (but not refrigerator cold) and dark place. They will keep like that for at least a few months, sometimes upwards of a year.

Fourth, save your seeds for next years garden. Choose the healthiest looking pumpkin you have. scoop the seeds into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with filtered water (chlorine may damage the seeds if you use unfiltered tap water.) Let the seeds drain for a few hours. Transfer to a plate lined with wax paper. Leave at room temperature to dry for 30 days, mixing up the seeds by hand every couple of days. Put in a paper envelope that will allow air flow. That's it, you are ready to grow more pumpkin next season!

What to do with all that pumpkin? Check out my past posts for recipes like Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins and Whole Grain Pumpkin Bread. I also hope to soon post a recipe for my Grandma's pumpkin soup (a Halloween tradition in our family.)

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.