Pumpkin Harvest Info
Each participant needs to fill out our Volunteer Waiver beforehand. Folks will need to wear closed-toed shoes, sun protection, and bring lots of water. Also recommended: pants, long-sleeved layer, and a snack.
Harvesters can meet us at the Iskashitaa office at 7 AM or directly at Buckelew Farm (17000 W Ajo Hwy) at 8 AM; look for the Community Food Bank (CFBSA) semi truck/box trucks when you get there. You can always call 402-875-1337 if you run into any issues.
At the Farm
When you arrive at the Farm, look for the Community Food Bank trucks (1 semi and 2 box trucks). Our first activity will be to load the CFB truck with Jack-o-lantern pumpkins fire-brigade style. Everyone should sign in with Micah (clipboard). Remember to encourage everyone to interact with each other while working together, especially practicing English!
Our Iskashitaa truck drivers will locate the best varieties for eating, which are heritage or otherwise "non-Jack-o-lantern" squash like Hubbard squash, Blue Pumpkins, White Pumpkins, Cinderellas and red flat ones. We're looking for the meaty, dense squash that lasts the longest (Jack-o-lanterns do not). Iskashitaa volunteers will load these specialty pumpkins into Iskashitaa vehicles to bring back to our office.
In addition to harvesting mature pumpkins, refugees have taught us that young green pumpkin shoots; pumpkin leaves; pumpkin flowers; and small, green, softball-sized immature pumpkins are all good food resources as well. Pumpkin seeds are made into Bhutanese pickled pumpkin seed spice paste. We will have some buckets to bring seeds back to Iskashitaa as well as plastic bags for shoots and blossoms.
Back at the Office
Don’t forget to plan on helping unload pumpkins at the Iskashitaa office! Please do NOT block the sidewalk with the squash. Micah will know how squash should best be stacked around the property. Refugees are encouraged to take pumpkins home for their families, friends, and refugee neighbors. We will also redistribute pumpkins to refugees at several other locations at a later date.