(Farmer Jo Homesteading Facebook photo)

(Farmer Jo Homesteading Facebook photo)

Pumpkins used as feed for animals at Bulkley-Nechako farms

Food waste minimized after Halloween

Pumpkins were a real treat after Halloween for goats, turkeys and chickens at Farmer Jo Homesteading in Vanderhoof.

Mayson Williams was one of many local farmers who called for individuals not to take their jack o’lanterns to the dump, but to donate them instead.

Williams thanked the community on Thursday, Nov 4, on Facebook, where she also posted photos of the animals enjoying the round orange winter squash chockful of vitamins and minerals.

“I didn’t count them, but I filled the trunk as full as I could on my car,” she said of how many pumpkins she collected this year.

Last year Williams said they did not have as many chickens around, and pumpkins from their household and family members were enough.

The Vanderhoof farmer has a two-year-old daughter, whom the homestead is named after, and a nine-month-old son, and they as a family have explored growing and raising their own food, and have added more animals including turkeys and goats.

“I have 53 birds, I believe now, and so I needed a lot more pumpkins,” Williams said, noting the goats really enjoyed them.

“It takes them quite a while to eat them. I know I have a lot of people saying to come to get more, but with the pumpkins I put out there, they’ll be there for most of the winter because once it starts freezing and snow is on them, they’ll be there again in the spring,” she added with a laugh.

Pumpkins, according to Williams, are very nutritious for animals and people alike.

This year, she made a pumpkin pie out of her family’s jack o’lantern and had cooked another into a puree, which she stuck in the freezer in an ice cube tray.

If an animal is under the weather, she pops them out and also mixes them in baby food for her children.

Because Williams was able to get so many pumpkins this year, she had shared the wealth with her mother-in-law down the road, who has more than 70 chickens.

“I hope that more people will see it, and there are other ways to give up your pumpkin,” Williams said.

“I think it was on the Fort St. James community page [Facebook] someone had said instead of taking your pumpkins to the dump if you find a safe place for them somewhere on a bush road, they’re perfect for the deer and the other wildlife as well, so even you’re not able to give them to a farmer to get rid of them somewhere else instead of just at the dump is really good.”

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(Farmer Jo Homesteading Facebook photo)

(Farmer Jo Homesteading Facebook photo)

(Farmer Jo Homesteading Facebook photo)

(Farmer Jo Homesteading Facebook photo)