October Kitchen Oct 2017

How Farmers Grow Those Giant Pumpkins

Forklifts and cranes may be used mainly for construction work, but every fall, thousands of backyard gardeners use them as gardening tools — or rather, harvesting tools — for their largest single crop. Massive pumpkins aren’t practical, but they can become a minor tourist attraction in your hometown, and even win a few thousand bucks if they’re really huge. However, with the time and effort it takes to get them that big, farmers aren’t in it for the money. They’re in it for the glory. Growing these monstrous fruits (yes, they are technically fruits) is kind of like breeding a racehorse. It takes practice, cultivation, and even good breeding. Competitive growers will often purchase the seeds of the previous year’s champions for their plant. After preparing the soil to make it extra fertile, they’ll plant the pumpkin in late winter or early spring. HEART-FRIENDLY: The American Heart Association recommends under 800 milligrams of sodium per meal; our heart-healthy options, designed by our nutritionist and chef, exceed the AHA low sodium recommendation and are under 600 milligrams per meal. They also meet or exceed low-fat guidelines: less than 30 percent of daily value per portion. DIABETIC-FRIENDLY: This is based on a maximum five-count guideline for carbohydrate counting for diabetic meal planning. Five carbohydrate servings equate to 75 grams of carbs — an easily-managed number. For example, to show how carbohydrate counting can make meal planning easier, let’s say your dinner meal plan contains five carbohydrate servings or 75 grams of carbohydrates. The label on a frozen dinner of beef shepherd’s pie says it contains 35 grams of carbohydrates. Instead of calculating how many exchanges that converts to, just figure out how many more grams of carbohydrates you need to meet your 75g total. We established a threshold for carbs at 75g to facilitate optimal diabetes management, with many items at a four count or less. Always follow your doctors’ and diabetes management partners’ recommendations. WHEAT-FREE: No wheat or gluten ingredients. While NOT made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, we find 95 percent of people with gluten problems are served by this. Extremely

Before the gourd starts growing, flowers on the plant need to be pollinated. Farmers will usually take it upon themselves to pollinate, using pollen from plants with proven genetic lines. Winning pumpkins usually claim their “father” plant and “mother” seed, like racehorses. Growing a great pumpkin is practically a full- time job, with some farmers reporting spending 40 hours a week on it. Using heated soil, installing fences to reduce wind, adding sand, and other specific cultivation techniques give the pumpkin a fighting chance to grow into a monster. The competitive growing industry is getting bigger (pun intended). In 1979, the largest pumpkin on record was 438 pounds. Since 2008, the world record has been broken every year. The reigning heavyweight champion was grown in Germany last year, weighing in at 2,623 pounds. That’s the weight of a 2018 Toyota Yaris or 1,748 standard pumpkin pies. sensitive people with celiac disease, please be advised there is an inadvertent risk of cross contamination. SODIUM-SENSITIVE: For the even lower sodium recommended diets, we offer the sodium-sensitive menu. All entrees in this category are at or well below 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. RENAL-FRIENDLY: For patients on hemodialysis, home dialysis, or peritoneal dialysis, these meals contain under 880 milligrams of potassium — all low-sodium and low-phosphorus. A normal amount of potassium in a typical diet of a healthy American is about 3,500 to 4,500 milligrams per day. A potassium-restricted diet is typically about 2,000 milligrams per day. Most October Kitchen Renal-Friendly items are below 700 milligrams per portion. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Under 500 calories and under 50 grams of carbohydrates. Perfect for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight.

INTRODUCING-NEW DIETARY SPECIFIC MENU CHOICES

Continuing our tradition of providing healthy

homestyle meals, we have now expanded and improved our menu to address many widespread health conditions. Starting with our single-serving menu, we now offer entrees with multiple combinations of nutritional requirements. Imagine delicious, homemade meals with the added guarantee that they are ideal for you and your good health. Over the summer, we introduced these categories for all our menu items. We are Connecticut’s No. 1 wellness resource for nourishing people, delivering fully prepared entrees weekly to your home or office. Now, you can stop in our new retail store to grab a wide variety of fresh meals, flash-frozen meals, and daily chef’s specials.

DAIRY-FREE: No dairy or lactose.

GARLIC-FREE : No garlic.

V EGETARIAN : No beef, poultry, fish, or seafood. May include dairy or eggs.

VEGAN: No beef, poultry, fish, or seafood. Does not contain eggs or dairy.

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