Friday, August 20, 2010

Cool mornings = thoughts of winter feedings

Blue Hubbard Squashes

The Blue Hubbard's I fretted over so much this summer are loaded with squashes.  More than I will use for the 2 of us for sure.  I also planted Jarradale pumpkins and Butternut squashes in the same area so everything could just vine out and mix  together without shading out less aggressive plants.  Anything we don't use can certainly be used as food for the goats, pigs and chickens over the winter.

A blue Jarradale pumpkin and a volunteer melon in back.  The melon plant, one  orange pumpkin plant and a tomato plant were volunteers from things we fed to the pigs over the winter, who were housed here.  Either the seeds passed through their system undigested or they weren't eaten and just laid dormant till this spring.

With the mornings getting a bit cooler it seems the foliage in this patch of squashes and pumpkins is starting to die back just a bit in the center and you can see ground where you couldn't a month ago.    My intent is to put the pigs back in there after I've harvested everything we humans can use and let them go to it at that point.   To maximize the amount of food  for them I sowed some Purple Top Turnips in there a few days ago.   I just threw seed througout the enter patch.  As the big leaves of the squashes die back the turnips will take over.  I don't think the plants will actually make the turnip bulbs because the soil is too hard in places there but still the abundant foliage will be a welcome addition to their diet. 

Turnip seedling planted Mon. already spouting amongst the pumpkins and squashes.   A bag of seeds from my local hardware store of common Purple Top Turnips was under $3 for a 4 ounce bag.   Some will get stepped on and trampled as I harvest in there but almost anything I get will make the tiny effort of scattering seeds worth the effort.   If you do it just before it rains you don't even have to water them in.   Mother nature can do that for you.

Turnips I sowed last summer growing throughout the pumpkin and squash plants this year.  


The barren area of this bed was planted this week with collard greens and kale for the goats for some much appreciated greens for winter feeding.  They love both.  The collards provide large leaves which means extra bang for the buck and the kale should stay going all winter so even in the coldest weather they will get the occasional addition of greens to their meals.   The bed looks smaller in this photo than it is.  I think it's about a 15' x 15'  area.


  1. You are the poster child of provident living. I am so impressed with all that you do and how knowledgeable you are. You are an inspiration!

  2. You have planned well and now your garden is filled with promises.

  3. What a great compliment! Thank you.


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