The Plan

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

The Plan

The plan I came up with is to buy cheap land, have a diversified “Old McDonald” farm, all products of farm will be vertically integrated.  Methane, AI (Artificial Insemination), and hydroponics are the main tools of the operation.

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


The Plan

by David Proctor


November 23, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


After observing how farms are being operated and researching the problems that farmers face, I worked on my plan to become a “successful farmer“.

The first pain point that farmers face is cashflow. If farm and municipal  byproducts can be turned from a liability to an asset, cashflow can increase by providing the solution to these problems. When you have a large confined feedlot for cattle, hogs or chickens; tier one of the plan, one of the biggest problems is waste.  You can only spread so much waste on the fields till they end up being saturated. 

CFO
Confined Feedlot Operation

I envisioned the key to this problem being the anaerobic digester.  The excess manure from a farm operation could be put in a digester in one end and out the other end would be a rich fertilizer that could be used for many second-tier products.

As an example, let’s say we have a large hog operation.  If you have ever driven through Illinois with the windows down, you will be able to relate to one of the worst, smelliest operations, are hogs.  Besides the smell you also have the flies.  This is one reason that with urban sprawl, ordinances are being past so these types of operations can’t grow or even exist.
 
When I was back in Missouri a few years back, one of the referendums that was put on the ballot for voters was the right to farm.  As I drove around I would see red signs stuck in the ground showing a tractor and the words encouraging you to vote yes for the right to farm.  I had trouble understanding why this even needed to be a voting issue because we already have the right to farm.  As they say, if you really want to know the issue, follow the money, or in this case the Yen.

Right To Farm
Right To Farm Poster

This was not about the right to farm, but about lawsuits that arose from people being sick and tired of the hog farm stench.  This issue was being backed by all the players involved in making money, but the top player was Smithfield Ham.  Most people don’t realize that Smithfield Ham was bought out by China.  And with Smithfield Ham it’s hog operations went also over to Chines ownership.  I guess that’s way they used red for their signs.

As it turned out the right to farm bill past and the last time I was in Missouri I saw signs stating how new hog operations were opening up close to cities.  Politics is a dirty game sometimes.  If they could control the smell and runoff into streams and rivers, they wouldn’t had needed to have laws passed so they couldn’t be sued.  The methane digester would have been a very good answer to this problem.
 
Another problem I see from being around cities is yard waste.  Whenever we have a roll off dumpster placed in our neighborhood, the first thing that fills it is tree limbs and grass clippings.  These end up going to the dump.  I can only hope they get recycled.  If these were collected for chipping and grinding, that would be perfect to go in a methane digester.  A ratio of carbon to manure has to be maintained for the digester to operate efficiently.
 
Not only are we taking care of farm waste and have a means of turning it from a liability, to an asset, the urban sprawl can be helped with their problems of yard waste.  For a small hauling fee of course.

Now we are talking about income from municipalities, large commercial agriculture operation, we are helping to solve stream and river pollution that has a detrimental effect on fresh and salt water aquatic wildlife.

The affluent that comes from the anaerobic digester has killed any fly larva, has little smell, can be used in composting, sold as an organic fertilizer or used on the farm to grow items that can be sold in the retail market. Such items could be sod for yards, flowers, potting soil, vermiculture and the list goes on.  The gas from the digester can be used to produce electricity for the farm, and the excess electricity sold to the power companies.  The gas can also be used to heat and cook with. All from waste products.
 
Now that we can control the waste on the farm, make and save money by doing so, we will want to look at the next step, diversifying our animals.  By having cattle, chickens, hogs, sheep, goats etc… you keep the likely hood of pathogens down for large single species operations. With diverse animal populations, the ability to provide to niche markets increase. Not all income is tied to one product.  This also helps spread risk of price change and consumer demand. Next, a look at AI.

Using AI (Artificial Insemination) allows us to increase heard size by using animals that are not the best bread or have seen their useful life used up.  A dairy cow that no longer is wanted by a dairy operation due to her not being able to produce to their standards, can make a cheap alternative to mother additional cattle on your operation.  Plus, you can upgrade you bread line with the traits that you are looking for without having to own the bull.  Not all breeds lend themselves to using AI, but it is an option.

The next item is hydroponics.  If we use hydroponics to grow feed for our herbivores, especially during the winter months, we can see a huge advantage over others that only have hay to feed.  Cattle, hogs, chickens, goats, sheep and all the other herbivores and some omnivores, that you may want on your “Old McDonald Farm” will benefit with added weight gain, controlled feeding with limiting waste.
 
When cattle are feed big round bales, they use a good percentage of the bail for bedding, thus wasting the hay.  Trays of oats and other greens can be grown consistently for feeding livestock a fresh green diet.  The hydroponic machine can be powered and fed nutrients from the methane digester.  This helps eliminate infrastructure in storing, baling and hauling hay.  Hay can be produced by just drying what you have grown in the machine.

Not only are we making money by being on cheap land, we are also making money by our ranching operation, that also makes money by helping eliminating urban and industrial agriculture byproducts.  We take their byproducts that they pay us to remove and use that to grow our operations, that will then produce products to sell back at retail.
 
This is the plan.  The problem I have with the plan is that my views have changed.  I still feel it is very viable, but it supports industrial agriculture.  Every since I was pointed in the direction of eco-agriculture, I see that industrial agriculture is not healthy nor sustainable.

The Farm Today

The Farm Today

You would think that the picture of the present day “The Farm” is showing someone that is a successful farmer.  Not in my opinion.  What I see is someone that is growing one crop, and most of the land, has probably eroded  downstream.  Someone that has gone into debt, probably barley getting by due to the market fluctuations and what the farmer gets for his commodity.  I see someone that has erected silos that only bring on debt.  I see someone that is growing gmo corn, that is used either for ethanol to go in gas tanks or used to make high fructose corn syrup.  I see someone that thinks they are feeding the world, but in my opinion, is poisoning the world.

I am not trying to throw this farmer under the bus, it is just my “changed” opinion on what that farm and many others represent.  If we can work with nature, instead of spending huge resources trying to fight a losing battle against nature, that is the route I want to go.  That is what a truly successful farmer is and should be.
 
Now I face a problem, my age.  When most people are looking at getting out of the farming operation, I’m trying to get it.  The brains and motivation of the operation (Molly) has died.  So, I look at how do I put these years of desire, dreams and research into reality.  Part of it has already happened, by writing it down.  If I can influence someone in this path then I have accomplished something.  When Molly died I was intent on making this dream and desire come about.
 
I sold or donated almost everything we had collected during our marriage.  I worked on the house and had a for sale sign in the yard, or at least for sale soon.  I had work done on the house and was ready to sell and find some land to move to.  The time was not right.  But it is close. 

If someday you drive by a farm and see someone with a cowboy hat and bib overalls, that have a REO Speedwagon embroidered on the back, herding cattle, honk; I will wave back.


Check It Out!

 

Urban Farm Lifestyle

Mason Bee House
Mason Bee House

Backyard Beekeeper
Backyard Beekeeper

Making Salsa
Making Salsa

Jalapeno Plant Cuttings
Jalapeno Plant Cuttings

Worm Farm
Worm Farm

Warre Bee Hives
Warre Bee Hives

Mason Bee
Mason Bee

Honey Bees In Warre Hive
Honey Bees In Warre Hive

Chickens
Chickens

Molly At Her Shop The Cottage Room
Molly At Her Shop The Cottage Room

 

Future Farmer

Future Farmer

Quick Tip

 

From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.
We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.


Bibliography: N/A


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Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


Posted in Animal Husbandry, Apiary, Chickens, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants, Recipes Tagged with: , , ,

The Dream

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

 

 

 

The Dream

The Farm left me with many memories and a desire to be involved in agriculture.  It placed in me a dream of how I could make it on a farm.  I knew the method had to be different from conventional farming because all the farmers I knew were selling out or had gone under.

 

 

David Proctor

 

 

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 


The Dream

 

by David Proctor


November 16, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

 


The dream I had was how to make it on a medium size farm without all of the huge investment in land and equipment.  I looked at what I felt was the problems with agriculture back in the 70’s and even today, that was you had to get bigger or get out.  Why do you have to get bigger, that is because everyone one was specializing in just about one crop or one breed of livestock. 

High School Year Book Picture
High School Year Book Picture

I studied different scenarios in agriculture.  I wanted to be like my grandparents except actually make money at farming.

In other words, the farmers were looking for cost efficiency with scale, since the products sold are commodities, you get commodity pricing.  Farming is the only business that buys retail and sells wholesale.  That is why the small guy goes under and the big farmer can spread his debt out across more assets.  Who really wins in this scenario, the banker.

This is one of the big reasons we have industrial farming, for quantity efficiency.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I wanted to find a way to get into farming without the mountains of dept.  The only way I could see doing that is to buy scrug land, hilly, rocky, something a goat would have trouble walking on. But it had to have a good source of water, which back in the 70’s, in Missouri you might find for around $250/acre.  I wanted to have cattle on the farm.  So, if I had a few hundred head of cattle how would I feed them?

My dad got involved with a company that leased dairy cattle to farmers.  Some of the farmers used a system that was totally new to me to feed their dairy heard and that was hydroponics.  They would grow oats in an enclosed building with florescent lights.  The seed would be laid out on growing trays in a medium that would hold the seeds in place.  Water with nutrients would periodically run through the trays and keep the seeds moist.

In about eight days the oats would grow to about six inches and the matt of oats would be harvested by hand to give to the dairy cows.  Cows require some roughage and to avoid using too much hay, plastic pellets were fed to them.  The milk production stayed high even during the winter.  The solution to owning land that couldn’t grow much was right before my eyes.

Around this time was when “AI” was starting to take hold and be used by more farmers.  A started researching hydroponics and AI or artificial insemination.  You could increase herd size by using AI in old scrug cows that could be purchased cheaply and inseminate say a good Angus-Herford cross called black baldies.  My dream was taking shape.

Black Baldy
Black Baldy

I thought, how can I decrease energy cost?  Running a hydroponics system can get a little expensive and with having a lot of cattle in a feedlot what would I do with all the manure?  I started reading Mother Earth News in high school.  The magazine had a lot of articles on how to be self-sufficient and be less reliant on others.  They had articles on hydroponics, on farmsteads and what really caught my interest was anaerobic digesters.

An anaerobic digester will break down carbon and nitrogen rich materials in an enclosed environment without air.  The result is methane gas and a very rich and productive fertilizer.  Eureka, this would be the center of my farming operation.  Every farmer I knew that had cattle, had to shovel and haul the manure out to the fields.  The problem with that is the leaching effect into the streams and waterways.  When the manure is already broken down the plants can utilize the product almost directly.  The methane gas was a huge plus. 

Anaerobic Digestor
Anaerobic Digestion

Methane can be burned for heat, and used to power a generator.  In fact, the sewage treatment plant for Springfield MO has a large ball beside it that is used to store methane gas for the generators to run off of, to produce electricity.
 
A good friend of mine in high school Doug Dunnaway, had a farm he was inheriting down in Alabama.  We were going to go in together and farm, since I didn’t have mine anymore. Every time I heard the song in college, Sweet Home Alabama, I wanted to dropout and head south.  Probably a good thing I didn’t.

So, speaking of college I went in as a biology and chemistry major.  I wanted to learn all I could about the biological and chemical processes of methane, artificial insemination and hydroponics.  In fact, when I took botany in college, I was telling my professor about my seeing a working hydroponics setup and even had slides of the building and operation.  I gave him my slides that I had of the hydroponic machine, since he had not seen one.  I never got them back, he said he must have lost them!  I’m sure that is what happened.

After a few years I decided to transfer to the University of Missouri into the ag department.  I went in pre-vet to try to get into veterinary school.  Didn’t know at the time that I had a better chance of getting into med school than vet school.

I left a four year all paid for education at a private school to transfer to MU.  After a year at MU, I ran out of money and got a job working on a farm on the river bottom, below Columbia.  This was a really good experience for me.  I got to drive a huge tractor and help disk, plow and plant corn on a 600-acre farm. 

They let me strap a tank to my back and walk out through the fields of corn spraying the Johnson grass with a new herbicide call Roundup.  When we planted corn, we put a purplish red powder on the corn as it went into the planter hopper.  I asked what that was for and was told it would keep the birds from eating the seeds.  Of course, they didn’t eat very many seeds because the powder killed them.  My first taste of working a large farming operation.

I lived in a very small trailer with no running water or bathroom.  If I wanted to get cleaned up, the owner provided us a hose to hookup to the water in the barn where we kept the tractors.  We threw the hose over a rafter so the water would spray down and you wouldn’t have to hold the hose.  Cold water only of course.
One time I remember, while using this make shift shower, I looked up and a snake was on the rafter above me.  I made that a quick shower.

The longer I stayed there the poorer I got.  I had no money for food.  I tried eating the corn that was in the fields and found out why you don’t eat field corn.  It isn’t the same you buy in the store.  I felt like the prodigal son.

Field Corn
Field Corn

I called a guy I met when I was having my phone installed when I was first going to school at MU.  He was a telephone contractor.  He said he would teach me the trade.  He had me put on a pair of hooks and I climbed a little way up a pole, with that he thought I might have potential.  I was allowed to ride with him and watch him work so I could pickup on how to be a telephone contractor.  I did this for about two months with no pay.  I then borrowed some equipment and went to Jefferson City to be a telephone contractor.

I swore I would never make a carrier out of the contracting work. Over forty years later I’m still a communications contractor.  But this is beside the point I want to make.  What I’m trying to tell in this story is how a person can make it in agriculture.

A few years after contracting I met the love of my life and we got married.  I went from contracting to a company job.  But still wanted to farm.  By now almost no one that I knew that was involved in agriculture farmed without another job to bring in money.
 
Molly’s grandmother had a farm in Burns, Kansas that I’m sure she would have loved for us to take over and farm.  Somehow, we just couldn’t see ourselves there.  I’m sure a missed opportunity.
 
I kept researching on my methods that I envisioned that one could make it farming.  I was laid off with deregulation of the phone companies and went back to contracting.  I decided that now was the time to see the country and let contracting pay for it.  We decided to take work in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Not long after that we decided to start growing the family and ended up with three girls.  Work slowed after about ten years and we moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia.  All the time researching and reading about methane digestors, hydroponics and AI even when we went on vacation. 
 
I had now over the years put all the pieces together on how to make a carrier out of farming.

 

 

To Be Continued

Check It Out!

Cow Being Milked
Cow Being Milked At The Farm

Cows Going In Barn
Cows Going In Barn

Hauling Cow In Back of Truck
Hauling Cow In Back of Truck

Grandpa With The Hogs
Grandpa With The Hogs

Milk Cows At The Barn
Milk Cows At The Barn

The Farm - Today
The Farm – Today

The Farm
The Farm

Street View
Street View

 


Quick Tip


Roundup

Link For Above: https://foodbabe.com/2016/11/15/monsanto/

Bibliography: N/A


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Posted in Animal Husbandry, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , , , ,

The Farm

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

The Farm

From an early age I loved being on my grandparent’s farm.  I knew that I wanted to work with cattle and other farm animals. This is the story of the farm.

 

 

 

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Farm

 

by David Proctor


November 09, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 

 


I have very fond memories of the Proctor Farm from when I was little.  I spent many a pleasant time playing with and feeding the calves that were on the farm.  I would spend many a happy time there.  I just knew that this would be the life for me.   My grandpa Proctor would let me ride the tractor with him.  Something like that is not done very often in today’s world.

Tractor
Picture of me pretending to drive tractor along with my sister

The farm was not very big in today’s standard, it was 88 acres of mainly grass fields.  The farm was milking Jersey  cows at the time, if my memory serves me right. These cows where probably crosses, but I remember that the milk had a high butterfat content so they were probably Jersey cattle.  This is when I first learned how to milk by hand with my grandma.

 

Milk Cows
Jersey Milk Cows

The cattle would come to the barn, if they were not already in line waiting to come in.  Being anxious to be milked.
The milk cows knew which stanchion to go to and we would move the board over and place a block to keep them in place.  With a little corn meal, they were as happy as could be.  Then we would place the milkers on the teats after they were cleaned and the suction would pull the milk down into a receiver tank that hung below the cow.  Sometimes we would need to put kickers on their shanks if the cow was known to kick.

The milk receiver tank that hung on the cow would be removed and poured into a milk can, which would then be placed into a cold-water tank to be chilled till the milk truck came and picked the milk cans up.

When milk was needed just for the house, grandma would sit on a one-legged stool and hand milk a cow into a milk bucket.  The barn cats would come around and grandma would squirt milk right into their mouths.

The milk would be taken to the house and poured into glass milk containers.  As the milk chilled you would see the cream rise to the top.  Most of the time that would be taken off to make butter with or to use for cooking.

We would drink the milk in colored metal drink cups.  You would see the fat globules line the side of the cup as you would drink the milk.  It tasted great.  My mom would tell me that I did not have to drink the milk, because it wasn’t pasteurized.  That did not stop me, I always drank it anyway.

I would also help with gathering eggs with my grandma.  We had a hen house that we would walk into to get the eggs.  The hens would lay their eggs in straw, that was in boxes, elevated and attached to the walls.  Most of the time they were out in the yard or pasture eating bugs while we gathered eggs.

My grandparents would raise a few hogs for butcher. I can still remember grandpa calling the hogs to feed by a long “suueeee” , and they would come running to the slop. They would kill and butcher the hogs on the farm.  I still have the knife that my grandpa used for this.  Unfortunately, I never did get to help with the butchering.

The farm had some fruit trees that grew not very far from the house.  I can remember cobblers and pies being made from the fruit grown on the farm.

Next to the farm house was a very large garden that my grandma would tend.  She would grow sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans and other vegetables.  Grandma would can the excess vegetables for the larder which was located in a dugout basement under the house.  It was always cool down there and canned goods would keep really well.

Grandma use to make the best tomatoes juice I ever drank.  It was probably the best because it was so fresh.

When I was real little grandma would give me a bath in a wash tub that was set on top of the kitchen table.  Too little to be modest or to care.  The water for the bath and for drinking came from a cistern.  I would help get water by turning a crank that would raise water up from the well.  The cistern was located just off the kitchen in the enclosed mudroom porch.  In early years we would have to use the outhouse if we need to go to the bathroom.  

The barn also had a cistern for the livestock.  The water would runoff from the rains and be collected in the cisterns.  The barn had a more traditional handpump that would raise the water from the wells to a watering trough.  My grandparents dug the cistern wells themselves.

My entertainment would be to follow my grandparents around and pretend I was them, follow the cattle as they grazed and watch the clouds make formations.  At night you could see a matt of stars, the milky way.  They did not have light pollution back then.

My grandfather died.  That made things really hard on my grandma.  To be honest, my grandma worked harder on that farm than my grandpa did, but this still put a huge burden on her.  As she grew older it became harder for her to manage the farm.  My dad and my aunt decided to sell the farm.  That farm was supposed to be my inheritance, but not to be.  Seeing the farm auctioned off was one of the hardest things I have ever watched.

My dad told me that if you have enough money to farm, then why would you.  The farm was sold to a neighbor that wanted the land because it was next to his.
The old farmhouse, barn, ponds, fencing, everything was bulldozed down.  The new owner built a new fancy farm house where the old one had been.  If not for memories, one would have never had known the Proctor Farm had ever existed.

But the desire to farm was still in me, I had a dream.

 
To Be Continued

Check It Out!

The Farm
The Farm

Old Milk Stool
Old Milk Stool

Jersey Milk Cows
Jersey Milk Cows

Milk Cans
Milk Cans

Hand Pump
Hand Water Pump

Chickens At Polyface
Chickens


Quick Tip

 

 


How to Milk a Cow By Hand (or goat)  4:22

 


Bibliography: N/A


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Benefits of Coconut Oil

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Weather you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house.

David & Kelsey Proctor

Urban Farmers

Urban Farmers

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 


Benefits of Coconut Oil

 

                              by Kelsey Proctor

First Publication November 5, 2015


November 2, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Weather you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house. 

Up until the past decade, healthy and coconut oil were not used in the same sentence. This versatile oil was thought of as only a saturated fat no-no. How wrong we were! Now the buzz is all about how this healthy fat can be used in cooking, beauty products, cleaning products, and more. Coconut oil has hundreds of uses outside of just cooking. 

First off: how is this new superfood healthy to consume? Coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat; however, that fat is mostly lauric acid. Lauric acid consists of medium-chain triglycerides (an MCT) which are metabolized easier than longer chains found in meat and dairy products. This metabolism boost means instant energy, and can actually help you lose weight. 

As a point of reference, Bruce Fife (C.N., N.D.), author of The Coconut Oil Miracle, recommends consuming 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Coconut oil is a healthy fat, but is high in calories (about 117 a tablespoon) so consider your diet and lifestyle when deciding what the right amount is for you. 

So, now that you know how great coconut oil is for your diet, there are a few things to look for when buying your first jar. In my fridge, I have a jar of SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil I grabbed from the grocery store for $4.99. 

Coconut Oil

Check It Out!

Now the fun part: ways to use coconut oil outside of just cooking!

Benefits And Uses of Coconut Oil


Quick Tip

 

The Top Three things to look for when buying coconut oil:
  1. Unrefined – this means there hasn’t been any bleaching or stripping that would compromise the oil’s health benefits.
  2. Virgin (tip: unlike with olive oil, you’re not going to find a discernible difference between “virgin” and extra virgin”).
  3. Good price! There’s no reason to drop tons of dough on coconut oil anymore. It’s become such a frequently bought product that you can purchase a 14 oz jar for anywhere from $5-$10 depending on the brand and your area. My 14oz jar will last me all winter! 

Bibliography:

How much coconut oil per day?. (2015, November 2). Retrieved from
http://www.newhealthguide.org/How-Much-Coconut-Oil-Per-Day.html

Kadey, M. (2013, September 16). Everything you need to know about coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/cooking-ideas/everything-you-need-know-about-coconut-oil

Michaelis, K. (2015). How to choose a good coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-choose-a-good-coconut-oil/

 


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Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

The Great Pumpkin

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

 

 

The Great Pumpkin

Pumpkins can be used for decorations, as ornamental stacks on your front porch, or to scare little ones around Halloween. Most of all, pumpkin can be used as a healthy food source in desserts and snacks.

 

David Proctor

 

 

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 


The Great Pumpkin

  by David Proctor


October 26, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 


 

The following how to is from gardeningknowhow.com

“Perhaps this year you found the perfect pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern from or you grew an unusual heirloom pumpkin and wish to try growing it again next year.”

Pumpkin Nutrition
Pumpkin Display

“Saving pumpkin seeds is easy. Planting pumpkin seeds from pumpkins you have enjoyed also ensures that you can enjoy them again next year.

Ornamental Pumpkins
Saving Pumpkin Seeds From Ornamental Pumpkins

Saving Pumpkin Seeds

1) Remove the pulp and seeds from inside the pumpkin.  Place this in a colander.

2) Place the colander under running water. As the water runs over the pulp, start picking out the seeds from the pulp. Rinse them in the running water as you pick them out. Do not let the pumpkin pulp sit in non-running water.

3) There will be more seeds inside the pumpkin than you’re going to need to use, so once you have a good amount of seeds rinsed, look over them and choose the biggest seeds. Plan on saving 3 times more pumpkin seeds than the number of plants you will be growing next year. Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating.

4) Place the rinsed seeds on a dry paper towel. Make sure they are spaced out; otherwise, the seeds will stick to one another.

5) Place in a cool dry spot for one week.

6) Once the seeds are dry, store pumpkin seed for planting in an envelope.”

Properly Store Pumpkin Seeds for Planting

 

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin Seed Oil

“When saving pumpkin seeds, you also need to store them so that they will be ready to plant for next year. Any seeds, pumpkin or otherwise, will store best if you keep them somewhere cold and dry.

One of the best places to store pumpkin seed for planting next year is in your refrigerator. Put your pumpkin seed envelope in a plastic container. Place several holes in the lid of the container to ensure that condensation does not build up on the inside. Place the container with the seeds inside at the very back of the fridge.

Next year, when it comes time for planting pumpkin seeds, your pumpkin seeds will be ready to go. Saving pumpkin seeds is a fun activity for the whole family, as even the smallest hand can help. And, after you properly store pumpkin seeds for planting, children can also help plant the seeds in your garden.”

Once you have the seeds removed, you can use the pumpkin to cook with.  This recipe shows how to make a pumpkin pie without the top splitting in the video below.


Best Pumpkin Pie Ever – Classic Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie – Ultimate Thanksgiving Pies Best Pumpkin Pie Ever  5:17


Pumpkin nutrition facts

The following is from nutrition-and-you.com

“Pumpkin is one of the most widely grown vegetables, incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins.

Though this humble backyard vegetable is low in calories, it carries vitamin A, and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.

Pumpkin is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the surface in a similar fashion like that of other Cucurbitaceae family vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash, cantaloupes…etc.

It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including in the USA at commercial scale for its fruit, and seeds.

Pumpkins vary greatly in shape, size and colors. Giant pumpkins generally weigh 4–6 kg with the largest capable of reaching a weight of over 25 kg.

Golden-nugget pumpkins are flat, smaller and feature sweet creamy orange color flesh.

Pumpkins, in general, feature orange or yellow outer skin color; however, some varieties can exhibit dark to pale green, brown, white, red and gray.

Their color characteristics is largely influenced by yellow-orange pigments in their skin and pulp. Its thick rind is smooth with light, vertical ribs.

In structure, the fruit features golden-yellow to orange flesh depending upon the poly-phenolic pigments in it. The fruit has a hollow center, with numerous small, off-white colored seeds interspersed in a net like structure.”

Pumpkin Muffins

“Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.”

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 26 Kcal 1%
Carbohydrates 6.50 g 5%
Protein 1.0 g 2%
Total Fat 0.1 g 0.50%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g 2%
Vitamins    
Folates 16 mcg 4%
Niacin 0.600 mg 4%
Pantothenic acid 0.298 mg 6%
Pyridoxine 0.061 mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.110 mg 8.50%
Thiamin 0.050 mg 4%
Vitamin A 7384 IU 246%
Vitamin C 9.0 mg 15%
Vitamin E 1.06 mg 7%
Vitamin K 1.1 mcg 1%
Electrolytes    
Sodium 1 mg 0.50%
Potassium 340 mg 7%
Minerals    
Calcium 21 mg 2%
Copper 0.127 mg 14%
Iron 0.80 mg 10%
Magnesium 12 mg 3%
Manganese 0.125 mg 0.50%
Phosphorus 44mg 5%
Selenium 0.3 mcg <0.5%
Zinc 0.32 mg 3%
Phyto-nutrients    
Carotene-a 515 mcg
Carotene-ß 3100 mcg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 2145 mcg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 1500 mcg

In the fall, pumpkins make for great ornamental display, showcasing walkways and porches.  When Halloween rolls around, the art of pumpkin carving comes into play.

As you can see the great pumpkin has many uses, from decoration, to healthy snacks and desserts. You can make pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies and the list goes on.  Save your seeds and grow some pumpkins this next year, they are easy to grow and the benefits from the plant make it worthwhile.


Pumpkin Pictures

Ornamental Pumpkin

Ornamental Pumpkin

Ornamental Pumpkins

Ornamental Pumpkins


 Check It Out!


Quick Tip

 

Tips for Growing Great Heirloom Organic Pumpkins
 
The following quick tip is from Sustainable Seed Co.:
 
“Heirloom Pumpkins do not like wet, soggy soil.
 
Heirloom pumpkins aren’t too fussy, but if you want really big pumpkins should add lots of great composted manure under each hill of pumpkins.
 
We dig large holes out about the size of a beach ball and replace it with rich composted humus.  To that we may add a hand full of bone meal and blood meal.
 
We stir this up really well and use the remaining soil to make our hill.  It is on top of this hill we will plant our pumpkin seed.
 
Organic pumpkins are deep-rooted, water-conserving plants and should be watered deeply and infrequently to encourage good vine and root growth.
 
Remember organic pumpkins can ramble up to 12′ so give them plenty of space.”


Bibliography:

“How To Harvest And Store Pumpkin Seeds.” Gardening Know How. N.p., 30 Aug. 2008. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

“Pumpkin Heirloom Seeds.” Heirloom Pumpkin Seeds. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

“Pumpkin Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Nutrition And You.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

“Pumpkin Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Nutrition And You.com, www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html.

All photographs are copyrighted under Proctor Company Incorporated, can not be used without permission.


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