The information regarding Uncle David's Dakota Dessert and the Oregon Homestead Sweet Meat make them sound appealing and something I may want to try in the future. In looking up Uncle David's, I noticed that there is some Hubbard breeding there. Although I have only grown Blue Hubbard so far, the hubbards seem to be a close second in taste and texture to Buttercup. As far as the Oregon Sweet Meat, I found the comment interesting that the sweetness seems to have declined in the commercial seed available. Perhaps this explains why some of the squash you get today do not match what I remember while growing up.
Clearly there is a wonderful variety of squashes out there such as Kabochas, Japanese/Asian, etc) that may well be worth a try.
With the exception of Vitaminnaya, no one so far seems to have had much experience with the Russian named squashes in my list. I guess I will just have to experiment with them and see how they turn out.
The size of my garden is limited (20 x 50 ft) so ideally I am looking for a dry squash in a bush or semi-bush form. I have room for a few regular vined plants but not many - hence my selection of varieties such as Sunshine and Baby Blue Hubbard which have shorter vines.
Post by canadamike on Jan 30, 2012 21:49:23 GMT -5
I think Red Kuri and potimarron are much the same, personally, but do NOT say that to the gentlemen of the Société d'horticulture de Lunéville whose job is to maintain the tradition of potimarron growing... you'll start a riot.
However, 2 centuries of growing and selecting on different continents must have had some impact... none that I have tasted, frankly, but it would be interesting to grow them side by side see if plants habits have evolved differently and how if it is the case.
We had a post here years ago about something weird that happened to me. I was growing POTIRON ( C.MAXIMA) JAUNE GROS DE PARIS, a huge maxima that is in the genetic make up of the giant squashes of today's fame like Atlantic Dill and it was my only maxima, and I did not know of any other garden within a kilometer, so I saved the seeds. I grew them next season and ended up witj a cross that looked EXACTLY like red kuri or potimarron. I even sent a squash to Alan...
Castanea - Your comment regarding Chersonskaya being a good squash but not very sweet is interesting. This makes me question what I read in the seed catalog descriptions. In the Seed Savers Exchange description they say that their staff rated it as the "sweetest squash they ever tasted". I guess this teaches us to be a bit skeptical until we try it ourselves.
You mentioned that every kabocha you have grown were better than the 3 that you commented on. Do you have a couple of names that you were thinking of specifically?
What's important is always how something does in your growing conditions and your climate, not how it does for someone else. Everything will not be the same growing under differing conditions.
In discussions of Chersonkaya in gardening groups, I have never seen anyone say it was very sweet. You should keep in mind that some people do not differentiate between the words "sweet" and "flavorful". I had numerous vines of Chersonskaya and picked the squash at different times and ate them at differing points of storage. It was flavorful but never very sweet. But I live in an area with occasional cool summer nights so that may be a factor. Or perhaps I had too little of some mineral or too much of another.
The orange skinned kabochas are all pretty good but generally less flavorful than the green/brown/blue or grey skinned kabochas. I have grown so many that it's hard to single one out. Everything that Kitazawa seed has is good. Kurinishiki may have been the best. It's certainly very good. But if you pick it too early, just like many other winter squash, it may not fully develop its sweetness.
This is interesting discussion as I'm on the lookout for a dry squash, probably a maxima that cooks up flaky, almost mealy, and flavorful but not necessarily sweet. We've eaten squash with this combination of characteristics occasionally over the years, but they turned out to be mostly hybrids. We have not grown an OP variety that cooks up like that. This year we're trialing Golden Hubbard and Silver Bell. We may also retrial Stella Blue Hokkaido. Our attempts at growing out the hybrid Cha Cha to stabilize it the past couple of years resulted in a not very tasty, moist-fleshed disappointment. We had the best squash ever from a neighbor this winter. It looked like a mid-size blue hubbard but was a hybrid. The neighbor had cleaned out her old seed stash and thrown it in the compost pile where some of the seed grew. She remembered it was from Johhny's many years ago and thought the name might have been confetti? Anyway, we're going to give the seed a try to see what will come of it. Any suggestions for other OP, dry, flaky varieties (would need to be good keepers as well)?
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Mar 31, 2012 13:21:58 GMT -5
I planted 4 "hills" of Hopi Black and 4 "hills" of Wild Pueblo today. Normally i would have waited, but it's been so warm lately that it felt like it would be okay. Only time will tell if i jumped the gun. I haven't watered them yet, so i suppose i could just leave them dormant until they germinate on their own, unless someone thinks that would be a bad idea.
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Apr 2, 2012 9:57:33 GMT -5
I just heard reports that it might snow today. So i guess it's probably a good thing i didn't water the squash seeds i planted. I figure they will probably germinate on their own just fine when they are ready.
We were invited to scavenge leftovers from the field, well after butternuts split in the summer monsoons and the maximas spoiled in the sun.
Turban varieties were collected in an empty, woven, plastic, chickenfeed sack. They stored well, for months, in a chilly shed, and their creamy texture was roundly complimented.
Of which we were aware, these came from mislabeled seed. The farmer was squeamish about 'unusual' foods, so wanted no part of them.
On finding that smaller, ornamental pumpkins had no useful amount of flesh, leftovers from the fruit stand were put in a composter. I eventually realized that they were much less prone to decompose, unless they had scratches. I punctured the stragglers, which broke down, soon after.
So, I suspect the turbans may have better keeping qualities, due to their thicker skins.
It has been a few years since I started this thread and I thought that I would update it based on my experience thus far. Although I have not grown every variety out there, I have tried many. They each had some good quality but never quite captured what I remember when growing up. In hindsight I now wish that I had paid more attention to what my parents were planting at that time and, more importantly, also saved some seeds.
Having said this, I may have found the one I was looking for - Uncle David’s Dakota Dessert. It is dry and has a wonderful rich, sweet taste. It took a few years of trial and error to get to this point but it was worth the effort.
Last Edit: Oct 23, 2018 8:04:55 GMT -5 by gardensup
Hello gardensup it is so nice to hear back from you. Glad to hear that Uncle David's worked out. I like dry, sweet squash too. (and I have also observed that copious rain in the garden season = wetter squash in the autumn!)
Growing in a coastal zone 7a in the Northern Hemisphere. Hot humid summers and cold snowy winters. Plenty of rain. Sandy loam topsoil over clay subsoil, whatever the glacier left behind when it made Long Island.
After years of trials, in the past couple of years we have had success with Blue Kuri, a maxima and Canada Crookneck, a moschata...except. This year the maximas had vine borers which took down the vines before the squash were fully mature. They taste terrible this year - only good for making into breads. We liked the Uncle David's too but unfortunately it was the rodent preference as well (anything with a button end is very difficult here). The Canada Crookneck has been the most surprising winner for us. It has massive yields of extremely good tasting squash that will store for a year and the vine borers leave them completely alone. It can't be beat here. In looking for a dry squash we hadn't explored the moschatas beyond the usual Waltham Butternut, Ponca, Sucrine du Berry, Futsu, and the Burpee Butterbush. The Canada Crookneck cooks up with much firmer flesh than any of those varieties. When sliced in rounds and baked or fried, they come out as creamy and caramelized. Joseph was right in his old post about trying moschatas and we should have taken his advice sooner. Also, Carol Deppe mentions in one of her books about cutting off the end of the big moschatas to cook it up, rubbing the cut end of the remainder, and leaving it sit on the kitchen counter until you need to cook up some more squash. The cut end "heals" over and just needs the dry end shaved off before using, great if you're a single person who doesn't want a boat load of squash all at once. This has happened a couple of times in the field when mice ate off the seed cavity but the fruit scabbed over and matured out a nice neck anyway. The Canada Crookneck delivers lots of neck flesh perfect for cutting into rounds. I can see why the Waltham Butternut became the commercial standard - at least they can fit in a box reasonably well. The Canada Crookneck gives all kinds of wonky shapes and sizes, but even slightly immature fruits have flavor that is outstanding.