Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pumpkins and Squash

These are the pumpkins we are growing this year! They are Halloween pumpkins but we are also growing some squash for eating.

These are our butternut squash plants, Growing fast and healthy with many blooms. Butternut squash makes great soup! We will revisit these squash when they are ready to eat in the fall with soup recipes.

These are our sweet dumpling squash plants. As the name implies, sweet dumpling squash is very sweet. They are tiny apple sized squash that are easy to fill and bake for one person. All of our squash plants are so green and healthy!

We are also growing some Hopi Black squash. It's an old rare heirloom once grown by the Hopi natives. It has a great sweet flavour and is darker with more beta carotene. It has a lovely flavour, a lot of meat and a smaller seed cavity, making it good for baking and making into pies.

We have one more type of squash growing in our garden. It's a cushaw or mixta variety, usually grown only in the deep south but we are trying it here. We only have the one plant but it's doing very well. It's large, green and healthy!

We will have all of these squash seeds for sale this winter! (Provided they produce fruit that matures and the seeds get saved properly, of course.)

We plan to sell the Halloween pumpkins in the fall and to roast the seeds. The squash seeds can also be roasted and eaten in the same manner.

We are growing these particular varieties because most of them do not cross with the others, being from different squash families (there are 4 families of squash). The seeds will be pure and we can use them to grow the same ones next year, except for the pumpkins and sweet dumpling squash. Both of these are of the c. pepo family and will be cross pollinating, so we won't be using those seeds for planting next year. We will just buy more seed next year for these varieties, if we wish to plant them again. 
You can also prevent them from crossing by using the tape method described here, "Preventing Cross Pollination".  It also describes simple hand pollinating which can be done to provide more squash. It's not necessary to use the tape if you are not concerned with keeping your own seed.

Squash can replace pumpkin in most recipes and many people like it better. We will post some great squash recipes when they are all ripe in the fall. 

In addition to the pumpkins and squash in our garden, we are also growing some heirloom tomatoes which you can see in some of the photos above. Unfortunately, these were planted a bit too close to the pumpkins...


Diane@Peaceful Acres Farm said...

Hi Sheryl! I finally had great success growing the Hopi Black Squash this year! They have done beautifully and I can't wait until harvest time!!! I put in 3 of the seeds I bought from you several years ago, reserving 2 just in case and all three turned into a massive display with HUGE fruit!!! I will post pictures soon on my blog....they have been my pride and joy this season!!!!

icebear said...

Butternut are my favorite, so far... i'm tempted to try the Hopi Black if you have seeds available this fall.... but i don't have a lot of space. the butternut type i have are more compact than most so they work well for me. I once tried to grow birdhouse gourds, more than tried... i did. but they were going for world domination and my garden is only 35 feet square ;) I did get some nice gourds out of it.

Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Diane,

I'm glad the seeds grew for you. The Hopi Black, when grown with much heat and water, do get huge. I grew a couple that were 40-50 lbs this past summer!