Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sprouting Wheat - A rough start

As one of my new skills this year, I have started to learn how to sprout seeds mainly grains.  Sprouting your grains increases their nutrient values and makes the grain easier to digest.  My first two attempts at sprouting wheat ended in only a few sprouts and a of fermented stink.  Sprouted grains should not smell fermented at any point of the process.

Sprouting Grain Process

  • Sprouting seeds typically involves soaking your seeds for 8-12 hours
  • Followed by a good rinse every 8-12 hours
  • Rinse and Repeat
  • Sprouting takes several days to a week depending on how long you intend the tails (roots) to be.

Where I went wrong

I used a glass mason jar which is a good acceptable method for sprouting.  The problem I had is after I rinsed I did not get enough of the moisture off of the wheat.  I did not have any sort of screened lid for the jar and tried to shake all of the water out.  It didn't work well and my first two batches failed with only a few sprouts.  I saw a few videos on You Tube showing waving the jar upside down over the sink in a circle using centrifugal forces to draw off the the excess water.

On the second batch I tried to shake out the best I could with my fingers over the jar then screw the lid on over top of a paper towel and hang it upside down over a cup.  This didn't work well either, I believe because there was no air circulation.  I have tried a method or two since and will post some updates in the next week.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A New Year: 13 New Skills for 2013

As 2012 comes to a close, we look forward to the next year.  As most people we are looking forward with hope, while looking at some ways to better ourselves.  How many times do we make New Year's resolutions and they never make it past Jan 31st?

When setting any goal we need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Our goals need to be both realistic and achievable.
  • Goals should stretch you, and be a challenge.
  • Setting a timetable is helpful, rather than just an open ended goal.
  • Greater success can be found if we write down our goals and tell other about them. The individuals we share our goals with can offer their support and even work on similar goals at the same time. 

13 Skills

Jack Spirko over at TSP has a new website up called  This is a place where you can layout your goals for the next year (13of them to start).  It is a great way to not only write down your goals, but share them with others.  You can share your profile with family and friends or become friends with other on the site with the same goals (there is also a dedicated area in the TSP Forums for this.  There is also a place to link over to your efforts on your own blog.

Lets face it, the generation of today and even yesterday falls, well short of what our grandparents and great-grandparents had in the knowledge and skills department.  We need to reeducate ourselves and work towards a more self-reliant and provident life.  Adding just 13 skills in your life will help you regain some of those lost and forgotten skills and knowledge.  There are 158 Skill categories to choose from with an endless number of goals you could set under each category.  

Our Profiles

Jacob's 13 Skills Profile
Shaun-ta's 13 Skills Profile

Get the Most out of 13Skills

With 13Skills it is important to list skills you want to learn or expand.  For instance if you are a great gardener, don't just list gardening as completed and "I have gardened for years, I am awesome"  Instead pick an area of gardening that you would like to expand or learn more about, for example "Gardening: This year I will go all year with using ZERO pesticides or petrochemical fertilizer."  This is a great goal, it is a long term goal, simple and achievable.  Along the way there would be some learning and expansion of knowledge as you learn how to deal with squash bugs without pulling out the pesticides.  Or how to build up your soil naturally without running down to the store for some 16-16-16 or other fertilizer.

After you complete a goal in an area, you can then revisit that goal with a new one under that same category.  Like if you just completed a learning how to can pickles you then could have a new goal of canning several types of jams or fruit.

Some of My Goals

 Fitness One of my focus areas which I know is a little cliche, fitness.  In a nutshell I need to lose weight, improve my stamina and better my overall health.  I have slipped into a lifestyle where I typically eat very healthy but not every meal just when it is convenient. I drink too much soda and work too much to get to any exercise.  If I am going to be the best father, husband and person I can be (and be around for a long time), I need to be in far better shape.  

I have a long term plan, but I am starting with an achievable goal that supports my long term goal.  My short term goal is completing a 90 day cycle of Insanity a workout series of videos.  My brother loaned me the DVD's and I like the variety and gadget free method of working out.  I also plan to look to find more outdoor activities to do, like digging holes, digging post holes, digging and building swales etc.  This intermediate goal will help me start the year right while also helping me towards my larger goal for the year.  Shaun-ta' plans to join me in this effort and a lot of my other goals will help to support this goal.

 Food Preservation  A few of my goals have to deal with food preservation including Canning meat, curing/smoking meats, fermenting, and harvesting Grain.  This is all an effort to make better use of the food we either grown or find great deals on.  These are all skills which will save us money while providing more nutritious food for my family.

We have some canned meat as part of our 3 month food supply of regularly eaten foods.  We often will use canned turkey or chicken in place of tuna in sandwiches.  Or if we are short on time we will use the canned turkey in enchiladas or other dishes.  We bought an extra turkey around Thanksgiving with the plan of canning the whole thing.  We expect to do this in mid January together.  Shaun-ta's Dad speaks of how his mom would can up venison after their fall hunts, it would make great sandwiches.  We also would like to can some pork.

Curing meats, we use pepperoni quite often making pizza for Pizza and Movie Night.  I would love to make our own pepperoni, where I know exactly what is going into it, and have the enjoyment of eating something we made ourselves.  I also expect it will cost a fraction of the cost of what is found in the store and the quality will be far superior too.  This will be an interesting process, I also plan to learn and make one other "dry sausage", I am not sure what yet but I'll figure it out soon.

Fermenting, I want to learn the art and nuance of laco-fermentation.  This is a great method of preserving your garden vegetables without canning, with the added benefit of better digestive health with the pro-bioics it creates.  I plan to try several different types of veggies out, of course pickles and a veggie mix called chow chow.    

Harvesting Grain, I planted a couple types of grain last year (quinoa and amaranth).  I want to plant some small test plots of different grain and harvest them using different traditional methods.  I want to grow at least 6 different grains to experiment on what works best in this area.  I know you are probably asking why I would even bother, when grain is so cheap.  Well the reason is simply because I want to try it out, see what is involved and see if growing any percentage of our grain makes sense if land area was available.  I am also exploring sprouting grain, which unlocks some of its nutrition and increases digestibility.    
Male Blue Orchard Bee (Mason Bee)
Beekeeping; this year I plan to start and keep 3 honeybee colony's, a couple of which will be not the standard hive you typically see, but a Warre' hive.  I really am fascinated with bees in general.  I already work a lot with Mason Bees.  Last summer, I spent a day working with my Dad on his hives and really enjoyed it.  I of course would love more Honey in the house and we would replace a lot of the sugar we use with Honey.

I want to keep my bees in a chemical and natural method as possible in a  managed hive.  My yard though full of good pollen and nectar bearing trees, bushes and flowers is often missing that soft drone of honey bees working the blossoms all year.  Adding a hive and colony near by will help some, and will work well to enhance what my mason and leafcutter bees are already doing.

Final Thoughts

We would like to encourage you to sign up and create your own profile on 13 Skills, make some good achievable goals and get to work.  Share your profile with family and friends and lets work towards bettering ourselves one skill at a time.

Watch for future posts from us showing our progress in each of the areas on our profiles. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wrapping Things Up

I remember my grandparents would always give gifts wrapped up in the colored comic section of the newspaper and as a child I thought that was the neatest wrapping paper. Gift wrap is one of those things at Christmas time that we don't put a whole lot of thought into, especially how much it costs. But the cost for gift wrap, like many of the other small things, can really make a dent in our Holiday budgets. But with a little extra time and some creativity you can come up with some very inexpensive and unique ways to package your Christmas gifts. I always make lots of candy for Christmas and one of the ways I have found to give away my treats is to recycle empty food containers. I use nut cans, bread crumb containers, cereal and pasta boxes, the list is endless. You can clean out these types of containers and then dress them up with a piece of holiday scrapbook paper applied with Mod Podge or spray paint them and then punch holes in each side and add a ribbon for a handle. Brown paper bags offer a perfect canvas for you to decorate and add a little of your own personal touch to. If you look around there are many inexpensive and more personal possibilities for wrapping up your Christmas gifts.

For a few of our gifts this year I took several of the #10 Cans that we have cluttering up the garage and spray painted them silver. I just used what we had on hand. Then I took some scrapbook paper and some ModPodge and applied it to the can. I poked a hole in each side of my can and added a wire handle. They turned out really cute and it only took me about 1/2 hour to make 4 of them. I didn't spend any money because I just used supplies I had on hand. They worked perfectly for the gifts I needed them for.

Spray Painted #10 Can with ModPodged Decoration

Unique Gift Wrap Idea: Spray Painted and Decorated Cans

Keep in mind that a great time to buy gift wrap is right after Christmas when it is 50% to 75% off. I always snatch up a few rolls and put them away for the next year.

With the Christmas Season upon us and this year coming to a close, Jacob and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. We celebrate this time of year with joy and gratitude for the Birth and Life of our Savior Jesus Christ. We love Him and we are thankful for the bounteous blessings that have been poured out upon our family because of Him. We look forward to the New Year with anticipation for the things that will be able to learn about living our life more providently. We also can't wait to share these things with you so we hope you will continue to learn along with us.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Homemade Christmas: Jammies and Skirts

I always love for the kids to have a new outfit for church for Christmas. Last year I made my 6 year old a really detailed, time consuming dress that she still wears all the time. It turned out great and only cost me $12. I probably would have spent $150 if I had bought it. This year I went a little more simple and made both the girls skirts that they can wear with the black shirts they already have. And for my little man a matching tie.
Homemade Gifts: Simple Skirts and Matching Tie

They turned out super cute and didn't take much time at all. The best part was I made them from fabric I already had on hand. So my only cost was for some elastic.

One thing that we always do for Christmas Eve is give Pajamas and of course they are always homemade. I have done various types of jammies. Last year I made some super cute Scrubs for them. This year I lucked out and picked up these really cool tie dyed tees on clearance for $1.00 each. I couldn't beat that so all I had to do was re-size the tee for my 18 month old and sew up some matching fleece pajama pants. I spent $6 total for all three pair. Easy and they will love them.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Homemade Gift Ideas: Part Two

 Here are a few simple gifts I made this year for some of my friends.

Homemade Gifts: Cozy Rice Heat Bag
Cozy Rice Heat Bags:
You can make these from some of your larger fabric scraps. They are very easy to make. Just sew a rectangle the size you want your bag to be. Leave an opening on one end. Fill with rice or dried beans. Sew the opening closed. I also made a little pillowcase for mine that could be removed for laundering. Heat in the microwave to 30 to 60 seconds or pop in the freezer for an ice pack too.

I made these for several of my girl friends and ladies from my Church that I visit on a monthly basis.

I also included them in the gift that the kids are giving their teachers ( I will post these later if I get them done!). They are very simple and inexpensive and great for just about anyone.

Many years ago I was given a simple Nail ornament to hang on my tree as a reminder of the true reason we celebrate Christmas: the Birth and Life of the Savior Jesus Christ. I have always loved it and decided to make them for the Primary Teachers at our Church. 

They are very simple to make.

You just need a few supplies:

Masonry Nails - Home Depot or Lowe's
Wire - I used grounding wire also found at Lowe's but you can use a heavier craft wire. I just couldn't find any heavy enough without traveling further than I wanted to go.
Ribbon - Crimson Colored
Glue Gun
Wire Cutters

Wrap the wire around the nail and form it into a hook for hanging on the tree. Hot Glue a ribbon to the front.

Here is the finished product. I typed up the poem on card stock and put them into little bags. Simple but meaningful and it is something that they will be able to use every year that will remind them of the Savior's Love for them.

I have included the poem below for your use. Unfortunately I don't know who the author is so I can't give anyone credit for it, but I think it is beautiful.

Hope you enjoy these ideas and they will help you on your way to having a wonderful Homemade Christmas.

                                                         It’s Christmas time at our house
and we are putting up the tree.
I wish I could find one simple way
to remember Christ’s gift to me.

Some little sign or symbol
to show friends stopping by,
The little babe was born one day
But really came to die.

Some symbol of his nail pierced hands.
The blood He shed for you and me . . .
What if I hung a simple nail
upon my Christmas tree?

A crimson bow tied ‘round the nail
as His blood flowed down so free
to save each person from their sin
and redeem us for all eternity.

I know it was His love for us
that held Him to that tree
but when I see this simple nail
I know He died for me.

May Christ’s love fill your
Home and Hearts this Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sweet Potato Harvest

This year's sweet potato harvest.
A month ago we harvested all of our sweet potatoes.  We love sweet potatoes in our family.  This was our first year grown them.  We started them from slips early in the year.  We harvested over 11 lbs, though we would have had more but about half of our slips were planted far to late.  We only started these from two sweet potatoes, we also gave away a bunch of slips.  Unfortunately some of the slips were quickly overshadowed by other larger plants and did not produce much. 

Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and store well.  After what we learned this year, we will be starting a whole lot of slips next year.  We'll plant them everywhere.

All in all it was a great success., below are some highlights from what we learned.
  • Sweet potatoes really prefer a lot of sunlight.  The slips we planted in the shade of a fence and those that were overtaken by tomatillo's or tomatoes did not do well.  
  • We planted a lot too late which limited our production.
  • Planting them as part of a polyculture increases production
  • They grow well in many types of soils, even very poor soils
  • They can fill in many gaps in your garden beds
  • Once you establish a them, you can continue to propagate them from starting slips from your harvest.
  • You can also bring in some vines and over winter them. 
  • Store bought sweet potatoes won't always produce slips, try for some locally grown ones.
  • Start your slips early, get them in early  
Slips are very easy to start and each slip can grow several potatoes each.  They are very hearty once established, we had some that produced a lot of pretty sweet potato blossoms which is unusual. Honeybees love sweet potato blossoms.
This was a long one, it would have been huge with a little more time.
Another long one, this is almost 3 feet long!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shaun-ta's Two Bean Soup

Yum! This is what I am having for lunch today. It is leftovers from last night's dinner and it is was really good last night, but better today!

My 6 year old had a Christmas concert last night so I just had to whip up something quick and easy for dinner and this is what I came up with.

Two Bean Soup - Delicious Vegan Recipe

1/2 lb. Black Beans                          
1/4 lb. Pinto Beans                           
1 Quart Diced Tomatoes                   
1 Can Corn (undrained)               
1/2 Jar Salsa     
2 tsp. Cumin                           
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Mexican Oregano
1 Med. Onion, Chopped
2-3 Cloves Garlic, Minced

Rinse beans and cook them in your Pressure cooker (don't drain the juice after cooking). In a skillet saute the onions and garlic in a bit of oil. In a stock pot combine the cooked beans with their juice, the sauteed veggies, tomatoes, corn, salsa, and spices. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Add more salt if needed to taste.  I also added about 3/4 Cup of refried black beans that I had in the fridge to thicken it.  But you can also take out about 1 Cup of the soup mixture and put in a blender and puree. Then add this back into the soup to thicken it. You can also use canned beans put don't drain them, make sure to include the juice, it has great flavor. I served this up with some tortilla chips for dipping. It would also be great topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homemade Gift Ideas: Part One

I just wanted to share with everyone some of the things I have been making this year for Christmas. There really are so many ideas for homemade gifts out there. I have a long list of things I hope to make some day. Maybe some of these ideas will inspire you like they did me.

Homemade Gift Idea: Take Along Barn

For my sweet 6 year old little girl, this fabulous barn. I got my inspiration from Serving Pink Lemonade's Blog.

I made mine a bit bigger than the one that inspired me so it would be the perfect size for a horse that my little girl got for her birthday this past year. She really loves horses. 

I had so much fun decorating it.
Homemade Gift Idea: Felt Doctor Kit

For my 4 year old little boy I made this Doctor Kit, which I saw in multiple places, both Sew Can Do and Vixen Made helped me with my inspiration.

It turned out so cute and I know he is going to love it. After I made this for him he told his dad he wanted one because it is his favorite thing to play with in Home Center at his Pre-K. I must have really been inspired!

It comes with a cast, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, band-aids, a doctors bag, and I threw in a medicine syringe from the pharmacy. 

Homemade Gift Idea: Magnetic Fishing Game

For my 19 month old I made this stinkin' Cute magnetic fishing set. I saw it over at Home Stories A to Z.

What a great Idea! I loved it and knew I had to make it.

I knew that my little boy would love it too, so I made two fishing poles so there would be no arguing on Christmas morning.
Homemade Bicycle Buckets

My 6 year old and 4 year old asked for bikes for Christmas, this is one of the things that we had to purchase. But I found these adorable bicycle buckets at Noodlehead and I knew they would flip over them.

Homemade Gift Idea: Magnetic Alphabet

I am also working on these magnetic alphabet letters for my 19 month old. They are darling ( not quite done yet, but I still have a few days, right). I saw them first over on Hellobee.
Homemade Gift Idea: Itty Bitty Book of Colors

My latest project and also for my 19 month old is this itty bitty book of colors. I saw several at different sites, but I kind of set out to make my own version, mostly because I wanted it to be interactive, unlike the others that I had seen.

It is very simple and has one or two interactive pieces on almost every page. 

The apples and oranges here are both attached with velcro.

On this page both cows have velcro attachments.

As you can see very simple but it turned out just the way I wanted it to and it will be perfect to take to church.

My favorite page is this darling owl. I think he turned out so cute.

I am getting so excited for Christmas myself thinking of my sweet kids opening their gifts. I am looking forward to seeing their faces and excitement over these gifts. Another bonus is none of them require batteries, which we spent a small fortune on last year and I vowed I would never do that again. All these gifts were very inexpensive to make and really saved us a ton of money!
Check back for more Homemade Christmas Gift ideas later in the week.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemade Christmas

As always December has been a very busy month for me and the reason why I haven't posted anything yet this month. I have been wanted to write a post about all the things that have been keeping me so busy this month. I can probably sum it up in two words, "Homemade Christmas."  This is the reason I always find myself so busy the end of November and into December, we always try to give a lot of homemade Christmas gifts. This year we have even done more and I would say about 90% of our gifts are homemade. Which means we have been very, very busy. And although this isn't a crafting blog, I do love to do crafty things, so I am looking forward to sharing with you some of the things I have been making and the reasons why we love to give homemade gifts. 

The following is a post taken from my sister's blog dated September of 2011:

"I know how sad does this pillow case look?!  But I LOVE it!!  My cute sister Shaun-ta' made us pillow cases for Christmas in 1992 and I have used this pillow case almost 24/7 since.  It is soft and gets cold while you sleep so you don't get to hot in the night.  It is honestly the perfect one.  I always lay down at night and smile because I know my mom would cringe seeing the thread bear and "very loved" pillow case on my bed. It also makes me smile because I'm pretty sure Shaun-ta' has forgotten all about it or if she hasn't won't believe I'm still using it.  I need to Thank Ta' for making this for me so long ago!  It honestly was the best most used present I have ever gotten!"

Homemade Christmas Gift - Pillowcase given in 1992 still well loved today.

To the right is the photo of that well loved pillowcase and my sister was right, I had long forgotten about the pillowcases I made for Christmas in 1992. It made me so happy to know that hers is still loved and treasured. It is a great reminder to me that sometimes simple is the best.

So why is it that we like to do homemade Christmas gifts? Well, I think the first reason will come as no surprise to anyone, it saves us tons of money. I am always looking for ways to stretch our monthly income and we really don't have any extra for Christmas. I am always shocked at the thousands of dollars that families spend on Christmas every year. Although, I don't have an exact number I estimate that we have spent somewhere between $150 - $200 for our family of 5 for Christmas this year and we don't plan to spend anymore. That amount also includes gifts for our extended family, teachers, and friends and a chunk of that money was for shipping costs.  The second reason we do homemade gifts is the meaning and sentiment that comes along with the gift. As I have spent countless hours working on gifts for my children and other loved ones I have felt the joy that comes from giving something that really comes from my heart. As I finish each gift I can't wipe the smile off my face thinking of the joy that gift is going to bring someone else. I believe that things that come from our hands really do have more of our heart in them because they require us to sacrifice some of our time and talents to bless others.

If you have never taken the opportunity to give homemade gifts for Christmas give it a try one year and see if it doesn't bring more of the true meaning of Christmas into your home and heart. There are so many ideas out there, the possibilities are really endless. I had a hard time deciding what to make, so I already have a list of things I want to make for birthdays, Easter, and next Christmas!

Over the next few days I will share with you some of the things that I have been making this year. Hopefully they will inspire you  and give you some ideas for your own "Homemade Christmas."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Follow Up: Those Cold Fall Nights

The other day I posted about our method of covering our frost sensitive plants from freezing dead on cold nights.  I just wanted to follow up and tell you how our plants did.

I happened to wake up in the middle of the night and looked at my phone, it was 30 degrees outside!  I was so glad I covered the plants.  It was only supposed to be 34 with a chance of 32.  I went back to sleep with a peaceful mind not worrying about our plants.
Frost all over

The top is a little frost bitten
The next morning I pulled off all f the sheets to see how everything was doing.  Most everything looks pretty good.  Some of the plants had the top six or eight inches were freezer burned but he majority of the plants were in good shape.  We have only one more cold night to go then a good week of warm weather.  The next night I added some grass clippings around the base of some of our pepper plants.  We are now 2 years on three of our pepper plants and want to keep them going another year, since pepper plants are perennial they just need a little protection. 

Hang up your sheets to dry them out, ready for the next night.

We are trying to keeping our tomatoes, squash, tomatillo's and peppers going along so we can gain some harvest from  each of them.  A few of the plants we where a little late in planting so we hope that we can still gain a harvest from them before it is too cold for them.  Either way it's worth the effort.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Homemade Stuffing

A couple of weeks ago I made a couple loaves of bread that just didn't raise well. I am not sure what happened. My sweet little baby girl was helping me so maybe I didn't measure the yeast right, not sure, but I didn't want it to go to waste and I knew that it probably wouldn't get eaten, so I decided to make some homemade stuffing out of it. It worked great, so I thought I would share it with you since Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner.

I started by slicing and cutting my bread into cubes. I tried to make them as uniform as possible, so they would not only look pretty but toast up evenly too. I did a pretty good job (I even fooled Jacob who suspected they were homemade, but wasn't sure because of how evenly cut they were.) Yay, for me!

I put all of my bread crumbs into a large bowl. Then I drizzled them with about 3 to 4 Tb. of Olive Oil and tossed them to coat using my hands. Then I added some seasoning. I used garlic salt, onion powder, sage, rosemary, and some thyme, just typical poultry seasoning, but you can use whatever suits your taste.

I laid my bread crumbs out onto a baking sheet (I only did one loaf at a time). Then I baked them in a 375 degree oven until they were crispy and golden. It took about 30 minutes. Just watch them closely so you don't burn them.
Homemade Whole Grain Stuffing

Yum! They turned out great. Use in your favorite stuffing recipe or they would even be great as croutons. This is a great way to make stuffing more nutritious because you can use whole grain bread and it is also much cheaper than buying it in a box.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Those Cold Fall Nights

Sheets covering frost sensitive plants.
There is nothing better than wrapping up in a blanket on a cold cold night. 

Tonight we are having an overnight low of 32 or 33 degrees.  We still have cold sensitive plants like tomatoes, tomatillos, squash and peppers.  We still hope to harvest more from them before winter sets in.  While they may make it through the night, if they do get cold enough they will be done for.

So we loosely wrap our plants up to keep them from freezing.  This method only works with light to moderate freezes.  Really hard freezes are hard to avoid even with this method.  We wrap up the plants in old sheets, the ones we keep around for painting and for this exact reason.  Sheets work well because they are lightweight.  If you had some stakes or supports you could use blankets if you had them.

Pillow Case covering a small Pepper Plant
We cover each plant or groups of plants, trying to cover them down to the ground.  This works well to keep the freeze back.  Keeping in the heat some while keeping the wind down and frost at bay.

It is important to remove the covers in the morning so the plants and ground can be warmed by the sun.  We have made the mistake in the past of not uncovering them leading to the plants freezing the next night.  Also the other issue can arise if the sheets are damp, they are less effective.  We hang our sheets off of the swing set to dry out during the day.       

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Seed Saving: Pumpkin

 Pumpkin week has been so much fun. I have enjoyed sharing some of our favorite recipes with you. There are many more, it was really hard to decide what to post. I can't end the week without a short post on saving pumpkin seeds. It is so easy to do.  I was so excited when I cut open this pie pumpkin to can and see how many seeds it actually had in it. I decided to save them all for planting. 

All you have to do to save pumpkin seeds or any type of winter squash for planting is to scoop them out of the pumpkin, remove any pulp, rinse them, and then allow them to dry completely before putting them away for storage. These seeds came out really easily and they had hardly any pulp on them. I put them into a colander and rinsed them really well. Then I laid them out on a towel to dry for several days. That was all there was to it. I am looking forward to planting them in the spring.