Monday, September 9, 2013
Saving Seeds, Hiding from the Heat and Feeding sheep
Today was so hot after about 9AM I came inside and although I had convinced myself I was going to save seeds today what I really did was lounge in front of the fan in the AC and read blogs. Oh I got some seeds saved but when my thermometer says 100 degrees in the shade my motivation for much outside work kinda wanes.
I kept five good sized pumpkins and two each of my water melon varieties for seed saving this year. Of course with all the cross pollination I had who knows what I will end up getting before it's all said and done next year but that's half the fun. Who knows maybe I will get some super great mixed variety that grows well here like I did with my pole bean breeding experiments. Perhaps a Small-Hold Ice Cream Sugar Baby is right now resting as a seed waiting to spring forth. Or they may fail completely and produce a small green/brown gourd that tastes like dirt.
If so, I still have plenty of pure seeds left for next year, at least for the melons, I have already made plans to put in about an acre of pumpkins down in a bottom field on the parent's place next year as well so they won't be taking over my garden like they did this year.
As a point of fact the more I had to do with the first batch of pumpkins this year the more impressed I have become with them as a sustainable food source and not just for us humans. Thanks to some of my readers who suggested I feed them to the sheep I now have a ram that is so fat I doubt he is going to be able to do his ram-type duties here in a few weeks. The other ram waits impatiently for his daily pumpkin that when I got the cut a bit off center and he put his head inside to eat the innerds he actually got the pumpkin half stuck on his head. Whenever the rams and their prison cell bitch whethers see me in the garden they start blahhing and bleating wanting more pumpkins.
Simply put these things will never go to waste.
We got two new additions to the sheep flock this week. I don't know what my mom named them and I don't care but they didn't look all that well fed when she brought them home. I gave em a pumpkin and they didn't even know what to do with it. They are currently huddled together scared out of their wits in a stall awaiting their isolation period to end. I tried taking a picture but it's just too dark in there to get a good one. After just a few days they are already looking much better and once they go out with the rest of the pampered herd/flock they will fit right in nicely. Supposedly these two are Rambouillets but they have some cute little light brown spots above their noses and are generally a tan color anyway so who knows.
As long as they pump out edible lambs I don't care.
I am going to have to run some numbers and experiment a bit but as I said the introduction of pumpkins into the mix might change some things. Or maybe not. I am intrigued by the lack of care they need and their ability to almost control their own weeding to a point. Not to mention the love the bees have for their blooms and the wide range of uses the fruit has with almost zero waste or extra work needed. A couple of acres of pumpkins moved around to limit Squash bug infestations might reduce grain needs by almost a quarter overall.
Something else to look into.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!