Pumpkin Harvest Time!

Depending on where you are in the world, you may be nearing the end of harvest. Celebrations on a fruitful season are popular around the world from Thanksgiving in The United States to Sukkot in Israel. Pumpkins and squash may be a big part of your holiday traditions. I grow pumpkins or winter squash at The Urban Permaculture Laboratory, the home office of The World Permaculture Association.

“Winter Squash” Pumpkins

Pumpkins have originated in North America. Pumpkin seeds go back, between 7000 and 5500 BC. In a 100 grams of raw pumpkin, packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Beta Carotene. Pumpkin is 92% of water.

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin

You can utilize pumpkins in sweet or savory dishes. Prepared in many ways as candied, boiled, roasted, steamed, soups, purees, and as the same way, you would prepare zucchini or any other squash.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are pepitas, also edible and nutrient-rich. A great source of protein, magnesium, copper, and zinc. Many people roast pumpkin seeds as a snack as an alternative to Sun Flower Seeds.

Additionally, pumpkin seeds can be used for Pumpkin Seed Oil. Pumpkin Seed Oil contains fatty acids, such as oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid (2).  Pumpkin leaves and flowers are also edible and eaten culturally all over the world.

Squash Bugs

Beneficial Insects seek out and kill over 200 pest insects in the soil.

Additionally, they have no detrimental effect on non-target species such as earthworms, ladybugs, and other helpful garden insects. Having a resilient system does include a place for insects.

However, squash bugs do inject a toxin into the plant and suck the sap right out of it with their sharp, sucking mouthparts. This causes yellow spots that eventually turn brown. The leaves will wilt because the damage prevents the flow of nutrients to the leaves, and then they will dry up and turn black, crisp, and brittle. The leaves also sometimes have ragged holes. Smaller plants will die, and the squash bug feeding can decimate young fruit (1).

Pumpkins Within A Permaculture System

There are a few practices within permaculture that can naturally help with pests without using harsh chemicals that destroy the earth:

  • Make sure to compost old squash vines.
  • Practice crop rotation.
  • Practice companion planting by planting nasturtium, tansy, dantura, corn, and pole beans.

Let me warn against planting your pumpkins with potatoes. They are not good companions with each other.

Different varieties of squashes would be less prone to the Squash bug invasion; you may also want to try planting butternut and acorn.

Celebrating Pumpkins

As we celebrate pumpkins and the rest of your harvest remember that Permaculture is a system that works by maintaining a sustainable eco-system that work together not against each other.

I have a friend who wants to share this delicious recipe with our community that includes…. Yes, you guessed it Pumpkins!

Fresh Whole Wheat Sage Spaghetti with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce and Crispy Presunto

References:
  1. https://www.almanac.com/pest/squash-bugs
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin
Giuseppe Tallarico
 

Giuseppe is a versatile and results-oriented Agricultural Economist and Agronomist specializing in Permaculture, Food Security, and Environmental Management Systems dedicated to consulting large-scale farms through the transition to sustainable and regenerative agriculture to achieve maximum profitability naturally while creating a greener abundant earth for generations to come. Giuseppe is an Accredited Instructor by the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and a permaculture consultant for the government of Jordan. Giuseppe serves the world permaculture community as the founder and general manager of the World Permaculture Association, the director assistant and quality manager of Flora, the head of the Urban Permaculture Laboratory Educational Center, and manager of Rigenera, a Permaculture consulting company. He is also the co-creator of Permamindfulness® https://www.giuseppetallarico.com

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Gary Antosh

Hey there,

This is Gary from PlantCareToday.com

No one likes bugs but it’s important to know which bugs in the garden are harmful and which insects are beneficial.

I’m emailing you today because we just published an article on Bad Bugs in the garden.

I noticed you included

https://www.almanac.com/pest/squash-bugs

in your post here:

https://worldpermacultureassociation.com/pumpkins-and-beneficial-insects/

The article looks at 30+ bad bugs and might make a nice addition and resource to your page. What do you think?

Review the article at:

https://plantcaretoday.com/bad-garden-pests.html

If you have any suggestions to improve the article please let me know.

All The Best,

Gary
PlantCareToday.com

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