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Archive for October, 2010

After reading Amy Goldman’s superb book on squash, I just had to seek out this variety and grow them for myself.

This squash is the smaller of the two, at 1 lb 6 oz or so

Official Description:

(C. moschata) The wild squash of the Everglades. The round, lightly ribbed 3 lb squash have tan skin. The sweet flesh is deep orange, dry and of good quality. The productive vines are resistant to insects and disease. Found growing wild in Florida by early Spanish settlers, it can now only be found in remote parts of the Everglades.

Appearance:
They are kind of shaped like bottle gourds, or a pear shape with a round wide bottom and a narrow short neck. They were green on the vine and turned tan about a month after harvesting. Cut them off the vine when you can’t easily poke your thumbnail through the skin. Then continue to store the fruit to develop peak flavors and eat when the skin has turned completely buff colored, or about a month later.

Taste:
Unfortunately, after all they hype I had for these, they were bland, watery and stringy. And a bit coarse as far as texture. I did not enjoy mine even stuffed with delicious bean filling. Alas, my portion went to waste. For the second one, I’ll use it in baked goods (like pumpkin bread) to hide the texture.

The flesh was medium orange but a bit coarse and stringy.

Growth & Health:
I had one vine grow and got two squash. This was very disappointing for me, as I had read about these vines in terms of invasive, can’t be killed, grows like a weed, roots from the nodes, puts out tons of squash, etc. The only thing I hadn’t read about it is that it has variegated leaves that were very pretty. Growth was minimal and less than the standard pumpkins I also grew. It was mildly resistant to squash vine borer but my pumpkin vines were attacked worse and still managed to make bigger fruit.

The leaves are a beautiful variegated pattern

Grow Again?
Sigh, no. I love these for the heritage of them, but I can’t use them for what I wanted: stuffed squash meals. The size were smaller than projected and yield was way less. I’m going to explore growing maximas next year for their guaranteed smooth flesh quality.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield____Yield per Plant
__1____________109_____________-_________2__________2
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