The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Smashing pumpkins

Saving seeds from summer squash

"Isn't there a band called Smashing Pumpkins?" I asked Mark as I slammed a hammer into our mature summer squash to extract the seeds.

He laughed at my pop-culture illiteracy and told me that during World War II, potential enemy saboteurs would be quizzed on popular culture and jailed if they failed.  I definitely wouldn't make the cut.  I've used up all those brain cells that ought to be devoted to TV characters and pop-culture icons by memorizing plant names and bird calls...

Saving cucumber

...and the intricacies of seed saving.

If you'd like to join the ranks of the terminally uncool, you can learn to save cucumber and squash seeds in past posts.  To protect your cool status, though, you'd probably be better off reading one of those glossy magazines in the supermarket checkout aisle.

Our chicken waterer may not be cool, but it keeps your flock cool with clean water.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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All those squashes that you gave me--ends up I actually used a carrot scraper on the outer rind of one, and scraped it down to the softer inner flesh, then was able to cut it open, and it wasn't too old to eat. The seeds, esp. were wonderful--but they were not hard then. I think the trick was to have kept the squash in the fridge, so it didn't start drying out. Were these squash and cukes actually tougher than pumpkin, winter squash--or even sweet potato? It's amazing how you and Mark seem to have a tool or a chore that needs a good knife, about once a week, to report on! Does your hardware store have a scissors grinder, and do you have a good whet-stone? I think you did post once on how to keep knives sharp...
Comment by adrianne Tue Aug 27 08:01:57 2013

Mom --- In order for the seeds to plump up well, you let summer squash sit off the vine for two or three weeks. At that point, the rind is more like a gourd than like a pumpkin (although not as thin as a gourd), thus the smashing instead of cutting. One book recommends using a shovel to cut them open, but the hammer did well.

The insides smell very pumpkiny (thus the name of the post) and I'll bet we could have eaten the flesh. But we figured the chickens would like it better, and they did!

Comment by anna Tue Aug 27 08:33:30 2013
I feel that way, too! It seems like there are two opposing popular cultures in America, the "Freaks and Geeks" (of which I am a proud member) and "Mainstream" for lack of a better word (but that thought depresses me.). I only vaguely know most of the Mainstream actors/characters/reality stars (can't stand reality tv). My family gets together and we talk about superheroes, sci fi stories, and Lord of the Rings. My baby sister sits in the corner watching the Kardashians on her phone. I'd fail if asked about Snooky or Desperate Housewives or whatever, but I'd talk the ear off of someone who asked about Firefly or Farscape. :-/
Comment by Emily from Bristol Tue Aug 27 09:15:05 2013

Hi Anna and friends,

Thanks very much for the onions. Got here yesterday :).

I became an electrical engineer. Probably would not have if I could have gotten along with others!

Seeds....  I have been saving various of them. When the first one sprouted I was amazed. My own seed sprouting!

 Now I am trying to decide what to try to start in my indoor automatically watered and monitored garden.

 warm regards to all,

Comment by john Tue Aug 27 09:50:28 2013
@Emily: Farscape was way cool! Such a shame it was cancelled. And I still haven't seen the miniseries that is supposed to wrap up the story. The cast worked well together, and the series had a good balance between humor and a gripping story. Ben Bowder and Claudia Black later also worked well together on Stagate SG-1, I think.
Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Aug 27 12:45:20 2013

One of the most interesting pieces of skin art I've seen was a realistic image of Moya on a random woman's back one night at a Cibo Mato concert.

Best organic, sentient space ship EVER!

Comment by mark Tue Aug 27 16:42:45 2013

@Roland - I LOVED Stargate (SG1, Atlantis, and Universe wasn't awful...), and so Ben Browder and Claudia Black was like chocolate in my peanut butter. Those are still my favorite episodes, as much as I like McGuyver. Ha!

The Peace Keeper Wars was good. Some of the costumes/makeup didn't look quite right because it had been so long since they'd put it all together, but it wrapped the series up really well.

Comment by Emily from Bristol Tue Aug 27 17:17:17 2013

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