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Autumn Days at NiN


Preparation


This week before our Pro D day experience at Nurture in Nature, I wandered the farm, asking what it would offer the students of the day. I happened to find a bunch of baby pumpkins leftover in our pumpkin patch! That just might do the trick...


Sure enough, when our students arrived Friday morning, they were ecstatic about making a pumpkin pie- from scratch!! So, after the normal chores of the farm, which as they will all tell you include making sure the chickens, ducks, and pig have food, fresh water, and a clean habitat, we set off to find these baby pumpkins left in the field. As you can see in the picture above, one student is showing off the bonus duck egg he found in the coop on the way over too!


Preparing the Ingredients


We cut the pumpkins in half and scooped out the seeds. We saved 15 seeds to ferment in pulpy water for 10 days so they would be ready to germinate next year, and set the rest aside to roast as a snack. Then, we coated our pumpkin in olive oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and set it to roast for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

45 minutes to spare... well, every time we take a pumpkin (or anything else) from the field, we take away all those nutrients from that environment forever. What happens if we do this over and over without ever giving back? Soil turns to dirt. Theres nothing left. So what can we do to prevent that here? Feed the soil- with compost and leaves!!



Of course, feeding the soil means playing in those leaves first!



So after a little weeding and moving some leaves, and lots of laughs, ding! Back to pumpkins!


Recipe


Now that the pumpkins are roasted until they are soft and easily separate from their shells, we scoop out the yummy insides and put in a bowl:

-2 cups pumpkin

-The recipe calls for 3 eggs, who can get those from the chicken coop?

-1/4 cup brown sugar

-1/4 cup white sugar

-1 TBS cornstarch

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp ground ginger

-1/4 tsp nutmeg

-1/8 tsp cloves

-1/8 tsp pepper

- 1/2 cup milk

And mix away! I mentioned that you can put this in a blender for a smoother finish, but I like the way with a hand mixer, the little chunks tell that this is a pie made from real food. Roll out your pie crust, I'll save that recipe for a later date, then cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and at 350 for another 45. So that means we have another hour to learn about how to always give back more than you take!


And so, that's our recipe, and how we spent a mostly chilly, kinda rainy, day at Nurture in Nature Community Farm. I hope you get to make a pumpkin pie too!

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