Friday, December 23, 2016

PUMPKINS: Not just for Halloween

In the suburban neighborhood where I grew up, there was no question about what happened to your jack-o'-lantern after it had served its holiday function: it went in the trash and the trash truck took it away.
Not so here in Unionville.
I grew a good crop of pumpkins this year, thanks to Burpee's Halloween Blend, and friends were vying for them for a variety of reasons. My brother wanted them for the seeds, which he roasts and eats. (I used to give him just the seeds; now I just dump off the entire pumpkin in his yard and let him do the work.)
Friends who raise chickens also clamored for them, as apparently rotting pumpkins are a favorite for hens and roosters. A friend and I worked out a swap: she bought lunch and in return I loaded up a few dozen pumpkins in her pickup.
While driving around West Marlborough the other day, I passed a North Chatham Road farm where an adorable pig, three or four goats, and a rooster were chowing down on a huge pumpkin. There was a large pile of gourds and pumpkins stored behind the pen still to be eaten. I'm told that pumpkins were a mainstay of agriculture in Colonial days because they were great food for hogs. Nothing is wasted on a well-run farm!

Image may contain: food
This West Marlborough pig is enjoying a pumpkin.

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