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Clever idea: work your customers on social media to beg for free surplus/frozen/rotting pumpkins!

 
Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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I thought this was really clever: a chemicals-free no-GMO farm that I follow on Facebook asked its customers to drop off surplus pumpkins.  They got truckloads!   At first I assumed these were halloween Jack-o-lanterns that were slumped and ready for disposal, but looking at the pictures, I'm seeing all manner of large whole decorative winter squashes in the donated piles.  Admittedly around here people buy (and grow) pumpkins and gourds just to put festive fall displays on hay bales at the end of their country and suburban driveways, which is what I suspect most of these are.  First hard freeze wasn't until about two weeks ago, so most of these probably are getting floppy by now.  Anyway if you have a social media following of customers who support you, this would be a nifty free source of inputs for your systems.  They mention feeding pigs and horses, I'm sure chickens would enjoy rooting in smashed ones for the seeds, and they could always go into the compost.  I think I'd be higrading that pile for pumpkins still in good enough shape to be people food, too. 

Only downside I can see is that the pumpkins themselves are unlikely to be organic; they are likely to be commercially sourced at big box stores or grown by people who spray  'cides. 

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pigs on donated pumpkin
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donated pumpkins
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Chickens absolutely love pumpkins/squash.
They will fight over the choice pieces.

Last year, near Spokane we had a squash grower selling 4-600 pound boxes of not-market-quality squash/pumpkins for $40-60.  Hog farmers were buying him out of stock.

 
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