William Schlegel wrote:This year was a much better year for squash and I tried Joseph's Moschata Landrace! Bingo- I have green butternuts, butternut butternuts, butternuts crossed with mixta, green zucchini looking moschata, and a super cool moschata pumpkin!
Larry Bock wrote: I read this post with great interest. Probably because I've never cared for the hard type squashes. Because of being able to store them for long periods of time, I am " rethinking" this. I did like the chutney and bread/cake recipes. In my expieireces these type of squashes were baked with brown sugar or boiled. Looks like I have to start playing around with cooking some of these. Do all of these squashes have pretty much the same shelf life when kept properly or are there ones that " outlast" other varieties? And which would be the best choice for down east ME? larry
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I selected against the Dickinson pumpkin phenotype, because of watery stringy flesh. However, most of my moschatas claim it as an ancestor. That's because some hybrids occurred, and I selected among them for extra high carotenes which the Dickinson pumpkins carried into my landrace. I also selected for finer/firmer/drier flesh which came from different parents.
The Pennsylvania Dutch phenotype got spun off into my XL moschata landrace. I didn't grow seed for that this year, but I bet that I could find seeds from prior years, and there's probably Trombocino seed laying around as well. So William, if you want to work on an extra long-necked landrace, let me know, and I'll hook you up with some clever seeds.
I save seeds according to a formula: My seed saving protocol specifies that 10% of the saved seeds in medium moschata landrace shall come from pumpkins and the rest are from butternuts or necked squash. Again, if you want the pumpkin phenotype, ask. Any seeds I send will be heavily influenced by necked squash, but a higher percentage will be pumpkins than the general population. Something that I do with some of my landraces, is I plant like types together. For example, in the buttercups, I tend to plant them in the rows so that the pinks are together, and the dark greens are together, and the grays are together, and oranges are together. That way, the colors will tend to be pollinated by like colors, and will tend to not get diluted into oblivion. I could do the same thing with fruit shape. For example, plant the necked-squash on one end of a row, an the pumpkins on the other. That would tend to keep each type like itself... Sometimes I plant patches different phenotypes of the same landrace in the same field, but separated to minimize crossing. Another way of mixing the genetics a little without swamping the low-percentage into oblivion.
Some of the collaborators selling my landrace moschata have selected against pumpkin phenotypes. What ends up happening when a pumpkin and a necked squash cross, is that the offspring are blobby ovals, or butternut-ish.
I sure know the "almost reproduced" scenario. The first year I harvested moschatas, and melos, every fruit was green when killed by frost, and seed viability was iffy. That was enough to start a landrace. By the third year, they were maturing wonderfully. I'm still not there after 9 growing season with watermelons.
I'm pretty sure that I still have seeds from the following fruits....
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
My general experience storing squash is that storage longevity is highly species dependent.
Pepo: 2 to 3 months.
Maxima: 3 to 5 months
Moschata: 6 to 8 months.
William Schlegel wrote:Maybe if they start to go bad I will just seed save them all!
Sara Rosenberg wrote:
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I recommend going to a "producer only" farmer's market, and source your seeds from there. Get fruits that appeal to you and taste them. Save seeds from any that you like.... That lets you know that at least one local grower was successful with the variety for at least one growing season. That's better than you can expect from a seed catalog.
I dislike the taste of Jack-o-Lantern, and anything related to it.
Buttercup is my favorite tasting squash. That's a wonderful place to start. Fruits can be a bit small for my preference.
Sweet meat is popular for taste, and decent sized.
Red Kuri is a commercial variety. Dreadful taste to me.
Hubbard is beloved, but at 40 to 60 pounds per fruit can be overwhelming.
Turks turban is most commonly sold as decorative, but flavor and size are nice.
Butternuts can be iffy. There are lots of commercial varieties that are insipid. Aim for skin that is dark tan rather than light tan, and for flesh that is orange rather than yellow.
I'm don't care much for pepo squash, but if I have to eat one, I prefer something like Acorn, Delicata, or Festival. I recommend avoiding spaghetti squash in a landrace.
well, guess I shouldn't have planted the Jack-o-lantern.. whoops.
Sweet meat and butter cup will probably be what i give a go next year.
thanks Joseph for the quick response. I'm in north Texas and working on getting all my neighbors in on my crazy growing exploits and landrace items sound awesome. I'm definitely interested in planting several next year and seeing how the generations adapt and change.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
William: Someone did something similar with my moschata landrace many years ago. Seminole pumpkin doesn't even come close to producing fruit in my garden, but I sent seeds of my landrace to a collaborator with a warmer/longer season. They made a cross between Seminole pumpkin and my moschata landrace and sent seeds back to me. Some of the offspring of that cross got reincorporated back into my landrace either as seeds or pollen. So my moschata squash are recently descended from Seminole pumpkin even though I can't grow it here. I used to be able to tell by fruit shape which those were, but that trait has been diluted.
William Schlegel wrote:the green is somewhat mysterious but probably has some Rio lucio. I have one like that downstairs and its been pretty common in my garden the last two years but thought it was from your genetics!