This year sure has been a good year for pumpkins! We’ve harvested all the pumpkins from the garden and have set them on the front porch to cure. Last week I made a fresh pumpkin pie, and sometime this week, I plan to either freeze or can some of the extra pumpkins that I don’t care to store in the cellar.
When I start to process the pumpkins I’ll be sure to save some seed for next year. The pumpkin variety that I grow is Connecticut Field. It’s a really nice old time variety that makes good pies and wonderful jack-o-lanterns.
Speaking of pumpkins, did you know that raw pumpkin seeds when fed to livestock in a large enough dose can help to reduce the load of tapeworms and roundworms? It’s true. Raw pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called curbitin which can eliminate some parasitic worms.
The only problem is that very large doses of pumpkin seeds must be fed, and most animals can’t or won’t eat enough pumpkin seeds to have any noticeable effect upon the worms or the number of worm eggs. In theory, feeding pumpkins for the control of intestinal parasites is a good idea. But in practice it is not the most effective way to control worms in livestock.
Every fall we feed pumpkins to our sheep, cattle, hogs and chickens, but never substitute raw pumpkin seeds for more effective wormers.