Roasted Pumpkin Seeds preparation

Every October I purchase pumpkins for Halloween and for some of my favorite fall recipes, one of which is roasted pumpkin seeds. I hope you are not throwing the seeds away when you purchase your fresh Halloween pumpkins! They are a healthy snack, full of fiber and so easy to prepare.

I am a devotee of this simple preparation and a highlight of my October.
Pumpkin seeds actually have two parts: the outer white hull covering and the green seed inside it. Both are edible.

This is so simple to do. Once you try it, you will wonder why you haven’t done this before.

The Preparation for Roasted pumpkin seeds

1) Lightly oil one or two half- sheet trays , depending on how large your pumpkins are. Ideally, you want something with sides as opposed to cookie sheets. One medium pumpkin will give you enough seeds to fill one half-sheet pan.

2) Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Using a large serving spoon, scrape the seeds and pulp from the interior of the pumpkin, working from the base to the top. I scrape my seeds out on to a clean counter or brown paper bag.

3) You must separate the stringy somewhat slippery pulp from the white hulls. Place the seed hulls into a colander and rinse with cold water, making sure that only the seeds remain.

4) Shake the colander to remove any moisture. You want these to be as dry as possible.

5) Spread the seeds out into a single uniform layer and roast for 30 minutes. This initial baking is to dry out the seeds.

6) Remove from the oven Scrape and toss them around with a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat them and sprinkle with kosher salt to your taste.

7) Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until they are just crisp and golden brown.

I like mine plain, just like this with olive oil and salt. However, you can add any additional spice mixes during the last 20 minutes of baking to customize them to your particular taste.

I hope you enjoy!

Wrote by: Julie Petrella
Arch, Director

Seminole Pumpkin of Cucurbita moschata

The Seminole pumpkin is a variety of Cucurbita moschata and is widely believed to be native to southern Florida.


Cucurbita moschata is thought to have its original native range from Central to South America. The Seminole pumpkin is actually a closer relative of a winter squash than a classic American Jack-o’-lantern pumpkin, but all are members of the family Cucrbitaceae. This endangered pear-shaped squash is thought to have once grown throughout the state of Florida, particularly along the banks of the Everglades. Seminole pumpkin has been grown by Native Americans we now collectively call Seminoles (the Creek, Miccosukee and Calusas) for hundreds of years. Prized for its flavor, it also became an important food source and was included in special tribal celebrations. Botanist John C. Gifford named the Seminole pumpkin one of the five plants “essential to Indians and early settlers of Florida.” Today, it remains one of the tastiest and easy to grow pumpkins for south Florida gardeners.


We are growing Seminole pumpkin for the first time this summer at the Edible Community Gardens Project. This is one of those rare annual food plants that can take the heat of summer, as well as high humidity, in stride. Seminole pumpkin is relatively disease resistant and pest and problem free, compared with other members of the Cucrbitaceae family. It bears up beautifully under both drought and wet conditions, thus an ideal plant for summer in Zone 10.

Seminole PumpkinSeeds for Seminole pumpkin are relatively easy to find now from several south Florida sources. They germinate quickly and are very easy to grow. Plants take approximately 120 to 150 days from seed to harvest. We planted our seeds in May in anticipation of a harvest in September or October.

Seminole pumpkin needs lots of space and full sun to thrive and fruit. Beware that this is an invasive plant, and best kept to raised beds or trellises where it can be contained and confined. It can produce runners of 20 feet or longer. Similar to most cucurbits, Seminole pumpkin benefits from rich, well-draining soil and lots of compost.

The entire northwest corner of our garden is dedicated to Seminole pumpkin this summer. I hope you will take the opportunity to stop by and see it growing. In the fall, I look forward to enjoying some of this prized vegetable with all of you.

Wrote by : Julie Petrella Arch
Edible Community Gardens Project, Director
University of Florida, Master Gardener

How to Groom a Poodle in a right way

The poodle is a very elegant, sophisticated and aristocratic member of the dog kingdom. But what makes them so elegant is the grooming they receive. Dog grooming is important and practical for a poodle.

dog grooming

Tools Needed to Groom a Poodle

To groom a poodle you will need a dog brush, a mat brush, anti-itch and anti-flea shampoo, dog clippers with various trim tools and plenty of towels or a hair dryer. Some sharp scissors regular size and small, as well as tweezers.

If your dog is nervous you might want to have a mussel on hand to keep from getting nipped.

Dog Grooming is Easier if You Brush Your Dog First

Brushing your dogs coat will help with bathing and make clipping easier. Make sure to use the mat brush to work out all those tangles and knots.

Resolve yourself to brush your poodle two to three times a week. This will keep the tangles down and make their coat shine.

Now before you begin clipping exam the dogs ears. Hair gets down in a dogs ears and causes itching and infection. Use your tweezers carefully to pull out unwanted and excess hair in the ear canal.

Good Dog Grooming Starts with a Bath

Poodles for the most part are pretty clean animals as they don’t drool, shed or have a strong doggy odor. But they need to be bathed before you start clipping their hair.

Most dog shampoos have conditioner in them to prevent tangles, but make sure you have one that does or buy a separate bottle of conditioner. This will save you time and make the ordeal more pleasant for your dog.

Make sure to use warm water not cold or hot. Start at the head and work back and down. This will drive fleas away from your dogs ears, eyes and nostrils. Be sure to wash the whole dog and rinse well.

How to Clip a Poodle

Clipping with electric clippers sounds and feels funny to your dog. They tend to spook easy. If they nip at you don’t scold but muzzle them to protect yourself, but allows your pooch to communicate anything unpleasant.

Holding your dogs paw firmly with your left hand proceed to clip the hair down below the ankle and between their toes. Poodles don’t seem to like this at first because it tickles but they will adjust quickly. Remember to talk and reassure your dog to help them understand that you will not hurt them.

Hold your dogs muzzle while you proceed next to trim their face and neck area. Remember do not cut off the top knot on their head. If you had a small bowl you could make an imaginary line from above their eyes to the ears all the way around the head.

Be careful not to cut to close or let the clippers get to hot as this leads to skin rash. Remember to use flat part of clippers wherever you can.

With a pair of scissors clip to feather out the top knot and ears.

Trim the tail leaving a pompom on the end. Clip the tail on top towards its root and away when clipping underneath. Now with the clippers cut the top of the body evenly from the tail to the neck.

Clip the belly shorter by lifting and supporting their legs, but be careful not to cut or burn your poodle.

Now shape the legs and hips to the structure of their body ending just above the ankle or pad.

All you have left is tying bows to their ears and paint the toenails.

Thats all there is to grooming your poodle. It takes some practice but with patience and love you can save $55-$75 dollars a month and keep your poodle sharp and elegant. I know I have two.