Sunday, April 3, 2011

Calabaza Pumpkins derived from the tropical species Cucurbita moschata

Given rich soil and abundant moisture, this WILDLY varied group of squashes and pumpkins trace their origins to central and South America and hence love humid hot summers. The last couple of days I've planted in 4 inch pots a very eclectic mix of open-pollinated seeds I'd accumulated the last several years to test for viability since some date to 2005, plus I'd not been always faithful to my mantra of "Keep All Your Veggie Seeds In Your Fridge" with them. A VERY good source of squash derived from C. moschata is:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

When I lived in Denver I had great luck each summer with squash bred from Cucurbita they tend to do poorly for me. But my friend Allen Boatman has had great success with them at the gardens at the Falkenburg Jail.

Seminole Pumpkin is a C. moschata native to the Everglades and has done well for me, as has 'La Primera' (bred in Florida for Florida) and Japanese kabocha (some feel it is C. maxima X  C. moschata) plus 'Argonaut' a LONG squash. Even if you are not in Florida and you have hot muggy summers and warm nights, give some cultivars of C. moschata a try as they often have deep orange very flavorful flesh. Plus the young vine tips can be used in stir fry and the male blooms make lovely edible plate garnishes. Cultivars of C. moschata almost always have beautiful silvery markings on the leaves that some folks mistake for disease.

                                            La Primera


Jamaican Pumpkin


1 comment:

  1. John, looking for Jamaican Calabaza Seeds for Comercial use...can you help me. Call Frank G.Rodriguez at 703-362-7244.