Farmer Boy, Chapter 17

Science
Oats (Avena) 
Oats are a grass that are widely cultivated for their grain which is used to feed cattle and horses, as well as in the production of cereals for human consumption. The stems and leaves are used for hay, silage, and pasturage.

Oats are high in protein and vitamin B1. They are most noted as a breakfast food. The seeds are rolled, making “rolled oats”. These are sold as is, or processed further to make quick cooking instant oatmeal. Oats are also used for industrial purposes such as preservatives and solvents.

Pumpkin (Cucurbita) 
Pumpkins are tender annuals with vines as long as 20 feet and larger leaves. Both male and female flowers grow on the same vine. The female flowers will bear fruit that can weigh as much as 100 pounds.

Pumpkins need a very long growing season. The plants and fruits are sensitive to cold, so they should be planted outside after the soil has warmed up. From the time of planting, pumpkins take 95 to 120 days till harvest. They should be picked before the first frost or they will become soft.

Pumpkins are used for decorations, livestock feed, seeds, pies, breads, and puddings.

Cedar (Juniperus) 
The species of cedar found most often in New York is the Eastern Red cedar. It has evergreen, opposite leaves with whitish lines on the under surface. They have a bluish berry-like fruit that is covered with a white powder. Each fruit contains 1-2 seeds. They are small to medium sized, reaching up to 50’ tall and 1 – 2 feet in diameter. The wood is used for fence posts and cedar chests.

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