FINALLY. A day it didn’t rain. Our first chance to cultivate the field where the pumpkins seedlings will be planted next week. They should have gone in this week but way to wet and cool. Used to be that I 100% controlled the weather, what has happened?
Ken travels a lot for his “day job” and people less familiar with the ways of Wisconsin weather will often ask how things are going. As you can see, they are not. Field looks just like it did in December. We are getting into record setting territory for most snow and cold so very late in the season. Spring will come…spring will come…spring…
When the weather warmed up a bit last week, Jay went to inspect the beehive and was very sad to find them all dead. What is happening with the world’s bees? Early reports are indicating this is the worst year ever, possibly up to 35% of the hives in the US have suffered CCD, Colony Collapse Disorder, where the bees either vanish or are found dead. We need bees for their early pollination services and Jay is replacing the hive.
We are happy to announce that with the arrival of our 2012 vintage for sale, we are able to have a price reduction to $18.95. As many of our friends already know, Hay River Pumpkin Seed Oil is a labor of love. We are committed to sustainability; certainly for the land with our organic certification but also for the people. We have a long-term goal of creating jobs in our community and pay excellent wages to the fine folks that help us and very attractive payment to the farmers that grow our seeds. We are beginning to refine some of our processes and now in addition to keeping dollars flowing in our community, are able to offer our delicious oil at a more attractive price of $18.95.
America’s first pumpkin seed oil continues to grow!
Oh it has been way too long since we’ve posted. Of course, in winter there is just less stuff happening but it is time to think about pumpkins. Here’s something that got my attention today, the UK seed company Thompson & Morgan just paid $263 for a single seed from last year’s giant pumpkin contest winner. The monster was over 2,009 lb. Our pumpkins tend to run ever so slightly smaller.
HRPSO Featured in Video
November 3, 2012
On the last day of harvesting, we were visited by the very beautiful Inga Witscher along with Joe Mauer and Rick Witscher, the crew behind the charming series, “Around the Farm Table.”
Check out there video of us, we had so much fun with them.
It was a dry year.
October 10, 2012
Our dear friend, farmer and pumpkin seed grower, Kate Stout of North Creek Community farm is also an excellent writer. She operates a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, that
delivers a weekly box of fresh produce to her members. With each delivery is a newsletter and with permission, I’d like to share her comments on our Wisconsin weather this season,
“I cannot look back on the season without being thankful for the rains that we did receive. The whim of the jet stream is all that prevented the seavere drought that
struck the southern part of Wisconsin from hitting us. It is a sobering thought. The combines are out in full force here and each gravity box of corn and soybeans is worth
more than it has ever been. In the gamble of farming, farmers around here hit the jackpot.
We are very happy to be members of Kate’s CSA and if you happen to live in the Twin Cities or Menomonie, WI area, we highly recommend it. You can contact her on her website or on Facebook.
Inner 13 year old speaks.
October 2, 2012
Fall in Wisconsin.
September 30, 2012
These pictures rarely capture the stunning fall color. Harvest is winding down, we should finish this week. Jay’s beehive is a white spec in the middle of the picture.
Harvest 2012 Update.
September 22, 2012
Harvest is finished at our place and now on to farmer Kate Stout’s field. The pumpkins look beautiful. One of the cool things for us is that for the first time ever, we are going to leave and let our very excellent crew continue with the harvesting, cleaning, drying and processing of this year’s seeds. We are so fortunate to have such committed and competent people help us, thanks guys!
Harvest starts tomorrow.
September 17, 2012
We begin harvesting tomorrow! These are buckets for the clean and then dirty gloves worn in the field. Mr. Jay always likes to make the leeetle jokes.
Getting ready for harvest.
September 10, 2012
We spent the weekend, mowing, weed whacking, cleaning and putting away all the implements we use during the summer. Now we’ll start getting out all the harvest equipment.
Lots of power washing in our near future. We think we will start harvest weeks early on September 18th.
We’re Organic and Hello 2013
September 6, 2012
We had our annual organic certification inspection and are pleased to report all went well. This year’s inspection was a lightening 5.5 hours, often it can take 8. They are thorough!
For 2013 we will be planting pumpkins in a brand new field as part of our farm rotation. Neighbor Todd Hillman helped out by giving the mowed hay its first disking to prep for next year.
Time to ripen
September 1, 2012
Things are looking good! It is a very early season, we will get started harvesting Sep 17. This shot is at Kate Stout’s North Creek Community Farm. Normal for the end of season, the leaves are getting beaten back with mildew, and the fruits are exposed to more sun. Both factors signal to the fruit that it is time to ripen and finish things up.
August 22, 2012
Happy to add new retailers in the great states of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Waste not, want not.
August 18, 2012
Thank you Trout Caviar!
August 17, 2012
We are way overdue on this one, if you are a foodie, you should be reading this excellent blog by Brett Laidlaw. He very kindly featured HRPSO in a July post. His book of the same name, Trout Caviar, has gotten rave reviews and is a delightful read.
Rejuvenation, it’s not just for souls anymore…
August 4, 2012
We’ve taken half of this field out of production this year and it has just been rotovated and densely seeded with
deep-rooted alfalfa which has the amazing ability to store nitrogen from the atmosphere into nodules in its roots, increasing our soil’s fertility.
It is very commonly done but a miracle none-the-less.
What is a female pumpkin flower, what is a male flower and how the heck could you tell anyway?
July 30, 2012
Our annual posting about the definition of male and female.
What defines a male, with a pumpkin or a man? What is similar with a female pumpkin blossom and your mom? The best college lecture I ever attended addressed this matter. Sometime in the late 1980’s Dr. Harold Koopowitz lectured a large group in a theatre at University of California, Irvine. My parents (now gone) had driven down to have lunch and attend a lecture. We were knocked out. It was so profound. Let me try to retell.
Across all plants, all mammals, all animals there are certain things that are constant and are used to define what is male and what is female.
Females have very few sex cells but they are huge and highly developed and produced in small numbers. Generally they are a complete organism except that they lack one last little bit of info. DNA from a male.
Males have abundant sex cells. Hello pollen, hay fever? The cells are produced in huge numbers and are widely disseminated. This applies to pumpkins and men. The male sex cells only contribute a tiny, but crucial amount of DNA that is missing from the female sex cells.
Pumpkins are types of plants that have both male and female flowers. Once you know what to look for, they are easy to identify.
The female flowers have a miniature pumpkin at their base. As with all things female, this cell is well developed and ready to become a full-on pumpkin provided it is fertilized with pollen (male sex cells) from a male flower. That is where the bees are useful, transferring male pollen to female blossoms in the field. The male flowers are also easy to identify, they have thin, straight stems, no mini pumpkins here, and produce abundant pollen.
It all makes so much sense, doesn’t it?
Say “hi” to 2013’s pumpkin seed oil.
July 5, 2012
They are just little, itty, bitty pumpkins. Say hello to the gals who will be producing our 2013 vintage pumpkin seed oil. These small fruit were most likely fertilized today.
Like much of the rest of the nation, we’ve had unbearable heat and humidity in NW Wisconsin. Uncomfortable for us but good if you are a pumpkin, they love it.
The season continues to look good – we seem to be clear of our annual insect problems. We love this time, other than a little mowing there is nothing for us to do. We say, “you grow girl!
The pumpkins are all girls. Next post, our annual chat about sex. Why are the pumpkins girls? What makes a flower male or female?
Very racy stuff!
The season is off to a great start.
June 24, 2012
Way to long since an update. Pumpkins are in and doing great. Plants very well established, forming buds. After a dry spell right when we planted, we’ve had plenty of rain. Today we ran the tine cultivator over them to beat back the weeds. Cucumber beetle damage is minimal. 2012 looks like it is going to be a good year.
Hello 2012, everybody germinate!
May 19, 2012
One big side benefit for us is being able to work with friends and neighbors, the NICEST people. Here we’ve just finished planting all the pumpkins for the 2012 vintage in Steve & Kate Hearth’s greenhouse.
Work is such a big deal in all of our lives, so much better to do it with people you love to be around. Pictured is Sherrine Bundt, Bob Grundy and Jay Gilbertson.
Karolyn Larson left a little earlier and Ken Seguine is taking the picture (rest assured, he looked excellent, ha!)
A great start to the season!
Presenting to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture
May 16, 2012
Ken Seguine & Jay Gilbertson in Madison, WI presenting HRPSO to the Wisconsin Board of Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel is on the far left.
We sampled the oil and it was an honor to be invited.
Great book, “Turn Here Sweet Corn”
May 11, 2012
We loved this beautifully written book! Part memoir, part manifesto, author/farmer Atina Diffly shares her powerful story of farming, local food production,
organic agriculture, love
and her battle with the largest privately held corporation on earth. Atina and Martin Diffly are inspirational heroes to many. This book is just crying out to be made into a movie.
Finally, we begin
May 2, 2012
Like many people that farm, we also have “day jobs”. My day job has been crazy busy with an intense travel schedule and just no time to prep the strips in the pumpkin field.
Finally was able to rotovate yesterday.
Highest score ever recorded.
April 23, 2012
Well, that was the highest score ever recorded at the Soderberg Eye Clinic in Glenwood City, WI, for levels of pigment in the macula of the eye. Let me explain.
Carotinoid (yellow-orange) antioxident pigments are concentrated in the back of the eye in the macula. Low levels are associated with a greater risk of Age Related Macular Degerneration (ARED),
the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. There is now a test that can be performed to measure the levels of these pigments in the eye. The two primary pigments are lutein (fairly common in fruits and vegetables)
and zeaxanthin (rare even in the best nutritional sources). Guess what? Pumpkin seed oil is rich in zeaxanthin, and it is in a lipid (oil) form that is most available for the body.
Not surprisingly, we use pumpkin seed oil 3-5 times per week and I was eager to take the test. Why, my vision is so good, I’m watching you right now and I’ve got the proof.
We’ve always said use Hay River Pumpkin Seed Oil because it is delicious and there are many health benefits as well.
Dr. Oz talks about Pumpkin Seed Oil
April 16, 2012
On his show last week, Dr. Oz talked about pumpkin seed oil for memory.
What was the name of that one brand that was supposed to be really good…?
Thank you Madison Magazine
April 7, 2012
A complete surprise to us was this excellent article by Nancy and Neil Heinen in the current issue of Madison Magazine (Wisconsin).
We think one of the best articles we’ve seen, they extensively reported on some of the issues near and dear to our hearts, sustainable jobs.
A big thank you to Neil & Nancy!
HRPSO featured Fine and Tasty Blog.
April 3, 2012
Well, you gotta have friends. When we sampled HRPSO back in January at Whole Foods Market St. Paul, we met the nicest couple, Jill & Chuck Marshall.
They are professional photographers with a beautiful website,
JC Marshall Photography and they said they’d be featuring us in their food blog.
They did. Say hello to Fine and Tasty. Not surprisingly, there are a couple of really beautiful product shots. Thanks Jill & Chuck.
Spring, damn it.
April 1, 2012
Like the rest of the country, we are having the earliest spring on record. No, no, no I say! Normally we’d have a foot of snow on the ground but this year the weeds are
already germinating in our pumpkin field.
Being organic certified, the major way of dealing with the weeds is cultivation.
Our problem is that I have a very busy “day job” and we don’t have time to deal with these amazing early weeds, but we must.
One of my favorite things about winter is that you don’t have to do anything to keep up outside. No mowing, no plowing, no nothing. Sigh, not 2012.
Ok, gotta go get on the tractor…
March 6, 2012
HRPSO was honored to be featured in the State of Wisconsin 2012 report on the status of organic agriculture.
“Hay River’s marketing message and label focus on two key features of their
product: organic and Wisconsin. Seguine emphasizes Wisconsin not only for
local marketing purposes, but also because he believes that national customers
associate our state with quality. ‘Wisconsin sells,’ he says. ‘We have a wonderfulreputation within the United States. People associate purity, quality, truthfulness and other good attributes with Wisconsin.’
Snow at last!
February 29, 2012
After what has been a very dry and brown winter, today we woke up to abundant, wet, heavy snow. It is good, our soil moisture needs replenishing.
Happy Leap Year Everybody!
HRPSO goes to the Organic Farming Conference.
February 27, 2012
This last weekend we attended the Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, WI. Educational, inspirational and fun.
As always, we learned so much. Being certified organic requires sophisticated farm management
with the goal of improving the soil and health of the crops without the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
There were so many motivated young people attending giving proof to the trend that with the growth of organic and local foods, organic farming can provide a viable income.
5 New Retailers
February 8, 2012
More Good News! We are pleased to announce 5 (count’em, 5) new retailers including our first in San Francisco and in the great state of Michigan. Complete listings on the California, Michigan and Wisconsin store pages.
New lower price.
February 1, 2012
Good News! With the arrival of our 2011 vintage, we are happy to announce a long desired price reduction. The suggested retail price is now $19.95. Our retailers will also be instituting this change.
HRPSO visits the state capitol.
January 31, 2012
We had the opportunity to visit the very beautiful Wisconsin State capitol building this weekend. Hay River Pumpkin Seed Oil is proud to be from the Badger State.
Calling all Mad People
January 27, 2012
On Sunday we’re traveling to our beautiful state capitol, Madison, WI and will be sampling our goods at Willy Street Coop West in Middleton from 4:00 to 6:00. Monday Ken attends the quarterly Wisconsin State Organic Advisory Council meeting.
Power to the People!
January 25, 2012
We are pleased to announce that Hay River Pumpkin Seed Oil is now available at River Market in Stillwater, MN and The People’s Food Coop in La Crosse, WI.
Power to the people right on!
St. Paul on Saturday
January 20, 2012
We’re going to be at Whole Foods Market tomorrow, Saturday morning between 10 AM and noon sampling Hay River Pumpkin Seed Oil. ‘Yall come by and say “hi”.
Hello Ashland, WI
January 13, 2012
Say hello to our newest retailer, Chequamegon Food Coop in Ashland, WI. Actually, just saying the word Chequamegon would be enough of a challenge. The “Q” is pronounced as a “W”, a beautiful, melodic, Native American word. Like most of our fine retailers, they have a long, proud history of bringing healthful food to their community.