chicken ladies got a nice treat: pumpkin and squash meats and seeds, which had the bonus of costing not a red cent as they were "old" Fall decorations being thrown away at the feed store. Not everything was hoovered up by the ladies, however, and what was left over was pitched into the compost pile.
Fast forward to Spring. We now have several squash and pumpkin volunteer vines in the compost pile. Not sure what we're gonna harvest come Fall: will it be Blue Hubbard squash? Princess Pumpkins? Pie pumpkins? Kinda nice to have the volunteers, as I still don't have our raised beds finished (mea culpa!), and am scrabbling together a large container garden instead (just got in a bunch of tomatoes & herbs - more on that later).
Besides a growing medium of rich compost, the vines are also getting recycled duck- and goose-pool water. There are a dozens of flowers on the vines at the top of the pile, indicating that if all goes well, we'll have a bountiful supply of Fall and Winter fruits.
[A moment of solemnity for the other volunteer vine that didn't make it: a sweet potato that had been growing in the second compost pile. The chickens squeezed their way into that particular bin, and ended up tearing out the plant in their hunt for tasty bugs. Our compost bins continue to be locked up like Fort Knox, but never underestimate the determination of a bug-focused chicken.]