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Landrace Squash photos and discussion  RSS feed

 
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I think I posted a duplicate so just editing the second since deleting doesn't seem to be an option.

I think Craig posted about his squash patch and powdery mildew. Sounds like he has a mixture of Pepo squashes and Maxima squashes. The two species might be differentially able to handle powdery mildew and some varieties might be better than others within species. If you can find one variety of each squash species that is really resistant to powdery mildew you might be able to start a landrace for that species that is powdery mildew resistant. Then later if you want to grow a squash that is susceptible you could cross it into your landrace as a pollen parent and with a few generations of backcrossing get some of its favorable attributes into your powdery mildew resistant squash landrace.

http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/NewsArticles/Winter_PM_Resistant.html

Here is a link to an article from Cornell about several varieties of butternut (moschata) and acorn squashes (pepo) with powdery mildew resistance. That could be a place to start with landraces of two species.

 
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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.

Many years ago, a farmer in Indian sent me maxima and moschata landrace seed. This fall, I am returning seed to him from my current landraces. Each squash in my moschata landrace has had up to 512 ancestors that grew in my garden, so chances are excellent that many of the genes that he sent me are returning home. The phenotypes that are returning home in the maxima squash bear little resemblance to what arrived here so long ago.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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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!



Here's names that I call my moschata squash:

Large Butternut


Small Butternut


Cheese Pumpkin (phenotype lost from my landrace)


Dickinson Pumpkin


Long of Naples


Pennsylvania Dutch


Moschata Necked Squash (This is the archetype  of my Medium Moschata)


Various Shapes of Moschata Squash

 
William Schlegel
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I bought two packets of Lofthouse moschata seed last winter. One directly from Joseph and another that wandered off to the Pacific Northwest and joined up with Krista Rome's Resilient Seeds seed company. Dickinson pumpkin phenotype is missing (which makes me sad) and some of my Moschata necked squash are long of Naples green. Then my long of Naples are very zucchini looking!

Biggest surprise then is that I got a pumpkin though it is not six sided like the one you photographed! I got two pumpkins off a single plant.

I also didn't get any fruits that are long and twisty enough to bend like "canada crookneck" which I've drooled over ever since I saw some in a produce stand in California except one skinny one that I think is from the packet of zucchini rampicante I bought.

I plan to be a bit selective in which phenotypes I replant. I will probably save seed from each phenotype but plant less or even skip years planting the Long of Naples green phenotypes. Especially if I want to sell them at market like I've tried to with some of my squash this year.

I planted moschata squash in three places this year. The row I planted the zucchini rampicante and leftover canada crookneck squash mixed with lofthouse squash was particularly unlucky with thistles.

One hill or two got planted next to my Mospermia squash and I already ate one mospermia that looked like a butternut. Some genes might flow between the two groups mospermia and moschata in my garden. I planted one hill of lofthouse mixta as well and it didn't set a viable fruit. I have leftover mospermia and mixta seed but I may have planted all the lofthouse moschata and maxima seed I had.

I really like the idea of using an established landrace as a base for genetic additions. Lots of new to my garden varieties end up as "almost" for me. I often get one fruit or "almost" a fruit from a new seed packet. The zucchini rampicante is a good example for squash.
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Moschata pumpkin
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Long of Naples necked and zucchini shaped
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My one addition I think this is the only fruit from baker creek's zucchini rampicante
 
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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
 
William Schlegel
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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



I googled Maine Squash Varieties and Maine seed companies.

First off Maine has some of the big seed companies like Pinetree Garden Seeds! I myself would prefer a smaller less national one that grows all it's seed in Maine.

Secondly the university of Maine publishes a list of some recommended varieties. Always a good place to start.

https://extension.umaine.edu/publications/2190e/

Thirdly it is winter squash season- no time like the present to visit your local farmer's market and start cooking now and seed save- you can get way more seed than you would in a packet and maybe talk to the farmer about the variety.



 
William Schlegel
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Rio Lucio Calabaza or Pumpkin is the squash landrace I've been growing and seed saving the longest since about 2000. There are still recognizable Rio Lucio squash in my garden today despite some crossing over the years.

One of the Maxima squash I am excited about this year is the cross between Hidatsa and Rio Lucio that happened in my 2016 garden. It's about intermediate in flavor. Next year it should segregate in interesting ways.

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Rio Lucio Cooked
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Fairly typical Rio Lucio
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This might be Rio Lucio as well. I'll know for sure when I eat it from the flesh and seeds.
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Hidatsa x Rio Lucio
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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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....








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XL moschata squash
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Pennsylvania Dutch and Trombocino Moschata squash
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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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
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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....



That Trombocino on your bike is quite impressive!

I will have to think about what I want to do with the garden next year before I obtain any more delightful seeds. I'm even considering cutting back instead of continuing to expand!

I've got quite a few seeds I didn't manage to grow out this year that I feel I should grow out for next year! I think I am addicted to new seeds though! I've got several kinds of squash in mind I would like to try.

I am going to do much wider spaces between rows next year- especially for squash.

After reading something you wrote I started saving my squash seed individual squash to packet last year with a few notes. I already have several packets saved this fall.

I think my maxima patch next year might go something like

Lofthouse Buttercup: other buttercups: buttercup hybrids: banquet squash (if I buy or trade for a packet), Hidatsa: Arikara (if I get a fresh packet), possible seed saved Arikara: Hidatsa hybrids w Rio Lucio: rio Lucio: lofthouse banana seed saved: lofthouse Hidatsa look alike (if I like it): other lofthouse maximas I really liked after eating them: lower salmon river (if I pick up a new packet). But proportionally I will plant way more buttercups because they taste really good, are a more manageable size, and are easier to sell. So it could just be one hill of each of the larger squashes!

moschata will probably be planted Trombocino cross : longer butternuts : small butternuts : pumpkins and I will save the green fruited seeds but not replant. Proportionately I will replant mostly smaller butternuts in case I'm going to end up trying to sell them again! Customers seem to like teeny single meal squash.

I may try to isolate Mospermia next year- this year I've forgotten and mixed in all the moshata growing next to the Mospermia so I may get some mospermia in the Moshata. I'll probably plant the Mospermia tan faux butternut I already ate: stripey: two colors: green if it proves mospermia: and original packet if I have any left.

I only did one hill of mixta and the one hill failed so I may plant the rest of my lofthouse cushaw packet- though if only the mospermia cushaws survive that will be ok- I'll just seed save them!

Pepos are going to be a conundrum next year. I've decided I can cross up the Mandan Squash and the lofthouse zucchini. That will simplify that! Proportionately though I will plant more Mandan squash because they are little- again customers prefer little.

However I also have naked seeded pepo squash from both you and a local grower ( I will combine those two), and crookneck from you. That means I need three reasonably isolated patches to grow pepo squash in to maintain that amount of diversity. Or I need to choose! I have a few places I could put in an isolated garden but getting it done may not happen! Or I can alternate years. I need to check distances involved! Hmm "The Seed Garden" says 800 feet to half a mile with a mile or two for commercial seed growers. I'll err on the 800 feet side. Alternatively I can just combine the three populations and select for what I like.

Laganaria I only grew one hill this year. If my one fruit matures seed I will plant it. My laganaria summer squash patch never germinated. So I might just combine it if there is any seed left. So laganaria might go single fruit : landrace leftover packet: summer squash leftover packet.  

Hmm then next year I really need to grow out my beans but not my corn. If I need to I can skip corn next year or just do a little patch.

 
William Schlegel
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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.



I wonder if I will get the pepo Mandan squash eaten in 2-3 months! They taste like acorn squash and are a handy size but that isn't as good as Maxima or Moschata! Maybe if they start to go bad I will just seed save them all!

Currently eating buttercup maximas. I've developed a new recipe this fall for buttercups as follows: cut in half, wash and lay seed out to dry, microwave for 12 minutes with butter in each half, scoop cooked flesh into bowl, add cinnamon and sugar, add vanilla icecream, add caramel topping.

When I have more time this winter I will make a lot of pie.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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William Schlegel wrote:Maybe if they start to go bad I will just seed save them all!



That would tend to select for varieties that "start to go bad"... The method that I use to increase storage longevity is to save seeds only from long-storing squash. In the case of pepos I would have to modify that to long-storing squash that haven't developed that disgusting taste that they acquire in storage.
 
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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.



About pepo squashes, I usually find them just ok with not much taste, but this summer, I grew Gill's Golden Pippin. It is quite small for an acorn squash and weight about 500 grams... but taste is very good ! Also, it has a really creamy texture once baked. I cooked mine side by side with a festival acorn squash and Gill's Golden Pippin had much better taste than Festival.

Also, we had a really bad summer here in Quebec. There was not that much heat when it was time to transplant/sow and it was very very very rainy summer. In August, we had a bunch of nights below 10 oC, and even some nights at 3 or 4 oC at the end of August. Muskmelon have almost all failed for me (but watermelon are doing not so bad.. they are in a south-facing slope) and winter squashes had a lot of trouble growing in this cold rainy summer... but Gill's Golden Pippin didn't care that much about the weather... they outgrew hay and made HUGE vines, each producing more than a dozen of squash. Now we have a very hot and sunny September, so maybe they will have time to mature 15 or 20 squash per vines !

So I guess they are worth trying and incorporating in a pepo winter squash landrace !

David

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Gill's Golden Pippin acorn squash
 
William Schlegel
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My favorite squash discovery of 2016 was Hidatsa squash from Baker Creek. I am not completely sure if Hidatsa squash is perhaps the same thing as Knife River squash (which seems to have disappeared off the market) or the same as Arikara squash. I planted a packet of Arikara squash this year but am not entirely sure what I got back! Other related squashes include Banquet (or Mandan Banquet)which is an old Oscar H. Will introduction and is 1/4 Arikara squash and half buttercup. I have a question about possible relatedness of Lower Salmon River Squash since it's a similar color and the Oscar H. Will company and earlier trade spread three tribes of the upper Missouri genetics around the region. I would like to grow all five squash and see the differences!

Anyway ate a Hidatsa squash tonight so thought I would post some pictures.

Fine grained deep orange flesh similar in texture to buttercup. White seeds relatively thin. This one wasn't particularly isolated (none were this year) so that will go on the packet notes and if I replant it it will go in a buffer zone between isolated Hidatsa and Arikara and other squashes in the maxima group. I can't remember where this particular squash was picked but 3 different buttercups, lofthouse, rio Lucio, Arikara, and rio Lucio x Hidatsa are likely other parents. The results of any such cross would be pretty good I suspect.

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Hidatsa
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Lobotomized Hidatsa
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Seeds- I usually don't use a paper towel, can find the strainer
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Squash is a good topping for icecream
 
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Mine are nearly all orange this year.  



But at least we can see some of the shape differences.  Definitely hints of buttercup and sweat meat in there.  Maybe a bit of kuri?  

The dominant growth pattern and colour seems to be from this strain of cinderella squash that somehow survives without irrigation or rain.  

This year we had a cold start to the season. The squash are all direct seeded and the frosts killed maybe 90% of the seedlings.  The ones that survived then had to manage through a sudden heat wave and (even for us who are used to no rain in the summer) drought which killed half of what's left.  But we still managed a harvest even in this STUN(Sheer Total Utter Neglect) situation.  

Next year I plan to grow some with mild irrigation and plant half seeds from (the delicious and long storing) harvest from this year and half seeds from genetics I want to encourage like Sweet Meat and buttercup.  
 
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These came from the patch I grew for winter animal feed.  Still a little green but they should be alright after a few weeks.  
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fodder squashes
 
Craig Dobbson
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My acorn squash was more consistent this year.  
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Acorn Squash
 
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Just bumping this thread due to the time of year in North America.  The zucchinis have hardened off in our area, but for the first time we are eating them as a winter squash and can attest to their excellent flavor.  Thanks for that information within this thread!
 
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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.  




Joseph, the back 3 squash represent the smallest squash that I grew out of your medium moschata squash seeds.  Do you think these might represent some Seminole influence?  The front squash in this picture is a Seminole that some friends in NH grew.  Their 5 Seminole plants took over a portion of their land in a beautiful and productive way!

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Joseph Lofthouse
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Greg Martin: Thanks for the photos. Seminole pumpkins were among the first that I planted. Alas, they were way too long season to set fruit in my garden. (Perhaps they shed some pollen into fruits that matured?)  We were able to incorporate Seminole into my landrace because a grower in a warmer climate made the cross and returned seeds to me. Looks like I have come full circle, because after years of breeding for smaller and smaller moschata squash, I have finally settled on a pumpkin as the preferred phenotype.

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Small round moschata pumpkin
 
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William Schlegel: I grew your squash this year. In general, they were  bigger than my preferred size for "maxima medium". The green were hard to cut, which I tend to select against. I grew them next to my medium maxima to share pollen between them.

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William's hard green squash
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William's pink squash
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William's orange squash
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Lothouse Landrace Maxima
 
William Schlegel
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Cool that was from 2016 genetics, the pink is Hidatsa with one hybrid (green stripes), 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! Might partly be from buttercup or a fellow at the farmers market.  The hard rind isnt a trait I knew I had back then. The orange probably is Rio lucio x giant pumpkin. Or maybe a bit of Lakota. Hard to say really! Now that's all mixed in with your genetics plus a few!

I had a weird squash year. Planted way too late. Only got a few- all maximas. Couple buttercups, couple lower salmon river, couple lofthouse? Some like those greens that I thought were lofthouse. Couple with Rio lucio genes. Actually possible that all but the pink could be Rio Lucio. The pink and green ones are Hidatsa x Rio Lucio mostly.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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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!


Could be. I used to have squash like that in my landrace, but culled them for being too big, and too hard to cut.

 
William Schlegel
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I definitely can't tell the difference reliably between Lofthouse pink, Hidatsa, and Arikara. They are really similar.
 
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I am curious if anyone knows of actual landraces still surviving in the US..

Some criteria to qualify what constitutes a landrace:
- Historical origin
- Many growers in a region including at least some that grow it at medium or large scales for economic purposes.
- High genetic diversity. Different populations are phenotypically distinct, yet it shares the same name
- local adaptation
- little or no improvement from formal breeding programs
- evidence of continuous geneflow among populations

I have only encountered a few, all in one particular region of the country - the southern Appalachians

A Cucurbita maxima landrace known as 'Candyroaster' centered around western North Carolina, but extending into north Georgia and parts of south Virginia. Not to be confused with various Candyroaster varieties available commercially, which tend to be just one phenotype of the landrace. Fruit phenotypes include round, turban, oblong, hubbard, and torpedo types, with shell colors ranging from pink to yellow to orange. Flesh is always fine and orange, with exceptional flavor. Some populations are very diverse.  It is still grown by many commercial farms in the region, as well as scores of gardeners. It probably owes its survival to a large baby food industry that was centered in the southern Appalachians from the 1940s through the early 1990s. Virtually impossible to prevent geneflow among nearby populations.

A southern flint corn landrace called Keener corn. Endangered. Populations include white, yellow, and mixed kernals. Flint corn is not grown in the south; it's viturally all dent corn that's grown there. But an isolated community in NE Georgia has kept it alive, mainly due to a a few families that valued it for its culinary qualities and a local grist mill there called Barker's Grist Mill. At least dozen growers still produced it when I last visited (almost 10 years ago) and nowadays it seems there are less than 5 growers left, most past retirement age. It is made into flour and grits at the grist mill, which are available commercially (albeit in very limited quantities) Geneflow among populations is both apparent and probable due to the long distances corn pollen can travel and the relatively small area it is grown in. At this point it may not technically meet the criteria as a landrace due to so few growers. I hope it can survive!

"Greasy beans" probably constitute another landrace grown throughout the southern Appalachians, although several uniform phenotypes have been commercialized and a few strains have been developed in formal breeding programs. While greasy beans - as a whole - possess a lot of genetic diversity, most growers seem to maintain a single phenotype, and are reluctant to try or incorporate others into their population. This may not meet the last criterion listed above, as beans are relatively easy to isolate and prevent geneflow among populations grown relatively close to one another. But I could also be totally wrong; I didn't really explore the genetics as well as I did for the corn and squash landraces.

I'd love to hear about others. I think the Arikara squash might qualify, but commercially available seed seems to produce just one phenotype. I've not spent much time in North Dakota, so I don't know.

 
William Schlegel
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https://shop.nativeseeds.org/collections/squash-hubbards-turbans/products/ex009

This is a link to the NSS page on the squash I've been seed saving for close to twenty years in Western Montana.

It has from the photos several phenotypes I usually attribute to additions I've made to my population from other sources. Such as the pink Hubbard phenotype similar to Arikara, orange squash similar to Lakota, and a buttercup type blossom end.

Native Seeds Search is a potent source of historical land races from the desert southwest. I suspect most of them can be adapted to grow further north but some come from further north originally and high elevations in New Mexico and Colorado.

In recent years Baker Creek has sold a Knife River Landrace and a Hidatsa squash. The former appearing to be related to Arikara but more diverse. The latter appearing to be on the surface identical to Arikara.

My opinion on maxima squashes is if you find one you don't like, don't save the seeds, but it seems like something that would be hard to mess up too much. I think Joseph Lofthouse's approach of creating modern Landraces is a valid one and produces results remarkably similar to historic Landraces I've tried like Rio Lucio. It can also be thought of as evolutionary plant breeding.

When you have even one cross between two different varieties it often produces a more variable population. I think that with the the increasing popularity of home plant breeding and seed saving that you can expect more variability.

Some plant breeders such as Joseph Lofthouse, Carol Deppe, and Frank Morton are making early releases or intentionally releasing variable material from their work. This is much more variable of material more akin to historic landraces.

Some historic or even just older variety names are actually landraces. If you collect several different lines of the same variety you can get much of the variability back into one population. Vegetable varieties don't just stay the same, they have to be actively maintained and periodically reselected. Companies vary in how well they do this work.

Also I think accidental crosses are more common than we might think and people often end up seed saving from the accidental crosses because they are the biggest most productive plants. A friend of mine running a greenhouse sowed a quantity of purchased tomato seed from the same variety and same company that was a mix of potato and regular leaf plants last year.

So there are a lot of sources of variability and Landrace levels of diversity really are still out there.
 
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