Pump­kin seeds

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Self-Sufficiency -

Pump­kin seeds are high in iron, zinc, mag­ne­sium, man­ganese, cop­per, and healthy fats.

It’s easy to grow your own pump­kins. To grow them spe­cially for seeds, choose a va­ri­ety that has hull-less seeds, like Aus­trian Hul­less (Koanga Gar­dens). Each pump­kin of this va­ri­ety can pro­duce around 120-130g of seeds.

“The seeds are larger and bet­ter tast­ing than all other va­ri­eties we have tried, ma­ture in ar­eas with short grow­ingsea­sons; if you have a longer sea­son they just keep on pro­duc­ing,” says Kay Bax­ter of Koanga Gar­dens. Har­vest tim­ing is im­por­tant. “They must be picked when the pump­kins get yel­low stripes, and be left for a few weeks be­fore re­mov­ing the seed,” says Kay. “If you leave the ripe fruit on the vine and it rains, the seeds of­ten sprout in­side and be­come use­less.

“When you pick and store them be­fore har­vest­ing the seeds, the seeds will be far bet­ter qual­ity.”

The flesh of th­ese pump­kins is re­port­edly not a nice flavour or tex­ture, although some gar­den­ers use it in pump­kin pies, cakes and cook­ies. It can also be fed to an­i­mals, but ap­par­ently, they don’t like it much ei­ther.

Keep your Aus­trian Hul­less away from zuc­chini in the gar­den if you want pure seeds for sow­ing next sea­son, as they cross-pol­li­nate.

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