Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pumpkin Seeds Made in Canada

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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Ripe pumpkins line the field. Pumpkins that can’t be found in Halloween decor. This is the variety that the farmer grows for seed. The harvest looks promising.

I am sure I have about 400 kilograms per hectare. Anyway for the second year, I am really satisfied.

Quote from:Sébastien Angers, organic pork and field crop producer, Ferme L’Odyssée

Pumpkin field is ready for harvest.

Photo: Radio Canada / France Baudouin

Sebastian Ingres conducted his first tests on pumpkin seeds in the spring of 2020. Skilled in regenerative farming aimed at restoring soils, he sought to diversify his crops and incorporate a new family of plants.

He explains that the more variety of plants you have, the more resilient you are to the health of your soil. Therefore, the health of your soil gives you a net profit and more flexibility for your farming business.

Convinced of the potential of this type of squash little known in Quebec, he experimented with three combinations of plant species. After two years of testing, the method that combines pumpkin and rye husk is the method that appears to have the most potential.

About ten days before harvest, the cucurbits were laid in windchills to reach perfect maturity. Today, the harvester wheel spins the gourds one by one to the ends. Then they are directed to a crusher that crushes them. The cylinder separates the meat and returns the seeds and leftover meat to the field.

All this meat will decompose next year and will serve as fertilizer for the next crop. There is a lot of nitrogen in there, and there is a lot of mutable carbon.

Quote from:Sebastian Angers

Competition of Quebec Seeds

During this time, the seeds accumulate in the tank. It is dedicated to Quebec healthy snacks factory. Green and bare, they are very different from Halloween pumpkin seeds which have a shell, protective shell of skin. It has a high protein content and is also converted into an oil.

The majority of pumpkin seeds sold in Canada are imported from Austria, Eastern Europe, China, India, and others. The early types of cucurbits grown by the producer in the Nikolai region come from Austria.

Pumpkin on the ax wheel.

Using this machine imported from Austria, Stefan Angers is able to harvest pumpkins.

Photo: Radio Canada / France Baudouin

The limiting factor in Quebec, says Sebastien Angers, is heat. This is one of the reasons why I chose an earlier breed. To make sure I have a pumpkin that finally makes it into this production.

After a solo year in organic production, he convinced three other farmers to start a pumpkin seed adventure with him. Together, they have 30 hectares planted, under organic and conventional management. Next year, the regions will triple.

I give them production contracts. They are doing the production, they are making pumpkins at this point. Then I take care of the harvest part. Harvesting, packaging and marketing. Then we share, and the payoff is made according to the risk taken.

Quote from:Sebastian Angers

The specialized machinery used for harvesting comes from Austria and is very expensive. The farmer also decided to invest in packaging equipment that cleans and dries the seeds. The investments are worth it, he says.

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There is a huge demand for plant protein, especially in the organic sector, and profitability is evident this year. Sebastien Angers is more convinced than ever that this culture has a bright future!

The report of France Baudouin and Simone Giroud is broadcast on the website green week Saturday at 5 pm and Sunday at 12:30 pm at ICI TÉLÉ. At ICI RDI, it will be Sunday at 8pm.


Green pumpkin seeds which are popular with health product manufacturers.

Photo: Radio Canada / France Baudouin

Pumpkin cultivation for fresh marketing and processing:

  • the sixth largest vegetable crop in the country;
  • 130,000 metric tons were marketed in 2017;
  • A quarter of the production comes from Quebec.
  • Half of the pumpkin grown in Quebec is a gourd.

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