Grant Bailey is another of our fabulous seed stewards for the Cygnet Seed Library. He's what he had to say about stewarding Peter Cundall's Beauty pumpkin....
I am seed stewarding the Peter Cundall pumpkin along with Kate but there has been a cross pollination issue that we are sorting out from last years seeds. I chose this seed because I’ve never grown pumpkins before and wanted to try a variety that stores for a long period of time to provide some beautiful home grown pumpkins for my family and friends. We live in Gardners Bay on 3 acres of land, we use roughly a little bit less then 1/4 of an acre currently for food production. We are in a coastal cool climate where we get a lot of South Easterly winds. We have a couple of large wind breaks and beautiful big trees around the property. Most of the trees are deciduous so that allows the winter sun in and shade from the afternoon summer sun. We do get regular frosts that start around this time of year, and living at the bottom of Woodbridge Hill mountain range it can get very cold here. We also tend to receive snow every 3 to 5 years and regular rain fall with around 1000ml or more each year Our pumpkins are finishing ripening and we are well on our way to our first frost. Traits [selecting for]:
- the fist ripening pumpkin
- the last ripening pumpkin
- the biggest pumpkins
Challenges: - One of the plants had cross pollinated from the previous year, however we should still have pumpkins from the other two plants to provide seed from. - I planted the pumpkin back in November when we still had the risk of a random frost and the temperature was still getting down to 6 or 7 degrees at night. So I covered up the pumpkins with a fleece over night until December. Will leave the pumpkins on the vine till the vine has died right back to get the best seed development and once we eat the pumpkins will rinse the seed under water and then leave them to dry in a warm area with no direct sunlight for about a week, until completely dry then we will put them in a paper bag and provide them to the Cygnet Seed Library. Being a seed steward is very important and very rewarding. To be able to provide a seed that others can grow. Can give people some independents to clean, healthy, nutritionally dense food that everyone on has the right to. This seed is given freely to other to people in our community and so is the knowledge and that is very important.
Thanks for being a seed steward Grant, and thanks for sharing your story!