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Cucurbit Varieties

Pumpkins

 

 

There are countless different varieties of pumpkins and winter squash.

I've listed many of the varieties that we grow on our farm. Keep in mind that my definition of a "pumpkin" may vary with that of others.

The list is fairly long, so I've included Quick Links so you don't have to scroll.

 

 

Aladdin

A large modern Jack-o-lantern variety. We have been experimenting with this variety as it is resistant to powdery mildew. We are fairly close to the Pacific Ocean and we have lots of foggy evenings and early mornings.

 

American Tonda

These are an unusual looking pumpkin. They are deeply ribbed. The outer portion of the rib is dark green. The inner portion is a golden orange which turns more yellow as they mature. It is strikingly attractive and stores well.

Amish Pie

This heirloom pumpkin comes from the moutains of Maryland. It is a soft creamy orange in color, and the shape resembles a large apple. They are a good quality baking pumpkin and store well. I have been told they can get quite large, however ours usually weigh less than 10 pounds.

 

Baby Bear

One of our favorite pumpkins! Long handles and just the right size for little hands. This pumpkin is excellent to use for an individual "pumpkin bowl" to serve soups, stews and chili. The seeds are semi-hull-less and are excellent roasted.

 

Baby Boo

These are a tiny little pumpkin similar in shape and size to Jack-be-littles, only they are white in color. If not protected from the sun after they have been harvested they turn a soft yellow in color. They don't store as well as a Jack-be-little. These are a farm favorite for little ones.

Baby Pam Sugar Pie

Sugar Pies are the modern baking pumpkin. If you want to bake pies, and want a pumpkin instead of squash, this is the pumpkin for you! The skin is very thin, the flesh is sweeter and substantially finer grained than a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin (they were bred for thick rinds and stability when carved . . . not eating!). It is also quite dry which makes for a more stable pie. We guarantee you'll be delighted with the results.

 

Big Rock

A large modern Jack-o-lantern variety. It has a dark orange color, is medium sized and has sturdy handles.

Big Max

This is the largest variety of pumpkins we grow. We don't competively grow Giant Pumpkins, and find this size to be just right for us. We prefer them over a Dill's Atlantic Giant as they have a bright orange shell as opposed to the pale pink of a Dill's. The largest we have grown weighed about 135 pounds. You can use them for baking, however we find them to be watery, stringly and have a bland flavor. On our farm these fellow's usually are flat on one side and tend to look like a lovable slug. (No disrespect intended!).

 

Charisma

This is another modern day Jack-o-lantern variety. It is powdery mildew resistant, and fits in well with our growing conditions.

 

Cinderella

Cinderella Pumpkins are a unique French heirloom whose correct name is "Rouge vif D'Etampes". The source of their nickname it that they resemble the pumpkin that Cinderella's fairy godmother transformed into a carriage. This pumpkin is recorded as having been the variety cultivated by the Pilgrims and served at the second Thanksgiving dinner. This is our favorite pumpkin variety. There is something magical about them. Cinderellas make a delightful decorative accent for the fall season, but additionally their flavor is good for any pie or winter squash recipe.

 

Cotton Candy

We are quite fond of this pumpkin as an alternative to a lumina. Their white color is more white than a lumina, and they have a true handle. Their skin is a bit harder and they tend to have less insect damage. We haven't had a chance to bake one yet. I'll try and find time this fall to bake one so I can post how it compares to a Lumina. If you want a white carving pumpkin, choose this one. If you want to bake it after you carve go with a Lumina.

 

Cushaw Green and Gold

The look like a bowling pin and have a long neck. Some are straight, some are crooked. They come in different color combinations. Some are cream with gold stripes, others are cream with green stripes. Much of their coloring depends upon the amount of heat we get in the summer months. They have a lightly golden flesh. They are good as an ingredient, or excellent just plain with butter. We like to use them as a mashed potato substitute. They have a very refined pleasing texture, and as a bonus are a good keeper.

 

Fairytale

This is an old time pumpkin from France. It is deeply ribbed and has a very smooth hard surface. It is dark green in color when immature, and as it cures it turns a gorgeous deep mohagony. It is fine grained and well suited for pies. It's true name is: Musque De Provence.

 

Full Moon

These pumpkins are huge like a Big Max, only they are white in color. These are wonderful to decorate with, but again are bland and watery when used in baking.

 

Halloween in Paris

A French pumpkin that is yellow all the way through and has good taste for cooking. It can be a bit on the watery side, so be sure to concentrate your puree before adding it to your recipe.

 

Hooligan

These little guys are tiny and soooo cute. They are a light gold in color with dark orange speckling between the ribs. They are edible and make great little individual soup serving bowls.

 

Howden

These are a staple in our area for a standard well adapted Jack-o-lantern. They are deep orange in color, have upright thick walls and sturdy handles. They make a perfiect traditional carving pumpkin. Howdens are quite susceptible to powdery mildew, so be sure to keep an eye on them if you plant some in your garden.

 

Howden Biggie

The same as a Howden only bigger. They have especially nice strong handles and thick walls that stand up well to being carved.

 

Iron Man

I believe these small sized pumpkins get their name as they are sized and feel just like a cannonball. They are bright orange in color, have a super hard shell and strong handle. They are the perfect size for little ones to carry and are pretty indestructable.

 

Jack-be-Little

These little guys are the perfect toddler's pumpkin. Older folks like them too. They are tiny and fit in the palm of your hand. When kept out of the direct sun they will last for months. They are pefect displayed on a desk or in a shaded windowsill. They are edible and have a nice flavor.

 

Jack-be-Quick

Similar to a Jack-Be-Little. Their stems are a bit longer, and they are a bit larger. They have a beautiful bright orange color and store well.

 

Jarrahdale

This is a native of Australia whose strain has been preserved by amateur seed savers. Even so it is difficult to find. The golden-yellow flesh is medium sweet, string-less and is a very good quality for baking. It is desired for fall decorating due to it's unusual slate-green color, deep ribs and drum shape. The skin is quite hard, so use caution when cutting this one open.

 

KakaiThis pumpkin has a very unusual coloring, and an even more unusual treat inside. It is orange in color with dark green ribs. The shell is quite hard and fairly smooth. The real treat is the seeds inside. They are hull-less, and absolutely fabulous roasted. They can be a bit tricky to grow, but are well worth the effort.

 

La Estrella

This is an unusual looking pumpkin. It's skin is a blend of dreamsickle orange and a soft gray green. The fruit is fairly small. Most of ours weigh about 5 pounds. We have been only growing them as ornamentals - this fall I'll take time to bake one and report back.

 

Lil' Pumpkemon

Aren't they cute! A fun mini pumpkin that you can actually eat! The unusual cream and orange colors make for fun fall decorating.

 

Long Island Cheese

This heirloom is widely remembered as a great Pie squash by people in the New York & New Jersey area. It was prominently used through out the 1800s. Its coloring and flattened shape suggests a wheel of cheese - thus the name. It has a deep orange moderately sweet flesh and a long storage life (up to a year out of direct sun!).

 

Lumina

Lumina Pumpkins are a ghostly white on the exterior, but have an orange interior flesh, which makes for a fun spooky effect when they are carved and a candle is placed inside. Don't stop there though! They have a delicious flavor and are excellent baked into a pie. When you bring one home display them out of the full sun so they will last longer and keep their white color.

 

Mandy

This is our very own variety we have been perfecting the last few years. It is fairly large, has a nice upright shape and a great handle.

 

Marina Di Chioggia

This Italian heirloom is one of my favorite varieties we grow on our farm. It is a deep blue green in color like the ocean. The skin is knobby and reminds me of a sea urchin. It has a sweet orange flesh and is excellent in pies and baked goods.

 

Musque de Provence

(see Fairytale)

 

Neon

This is the earlies maturing pumpkin variety we grow. What is unusual about these pumpkins is their bright orange pigment. Most pumpkins are dark green immature and turn orange as they ripen. Neons 9as well as Ol' Zebs) are orange from the time they are tiny. They don't get very large and don't store particularly well. Children love the bright orange color and they fit our needs for an early season pumpkin.

 

New England Pie

This is a classic traditional heirloom pie pumpkin on the East Coast. They are fairly small and usually only weigh a few pounds.

 

Old Zebs

This pumpkin is very similar to a Neon. It has the same bright florescent orange color and is orange in color early on. It tends to be more up-right shaped than a Neon and it's handle is a bit longer. The handles tend to be weak, but they are attractive in a display.

 

One Too Many

I certainly don't know where this pumpkin got it's name, because in my opinion we never grow enough! This attractive pumpkin is moderately sized and is a beautiful soft cream with orange stripes and speckles. It can be inconsitent in production, and we never know from year to year if they will be big and flat or barrel shaped. We don't mind the inconsistancies, and neither do our customers.

 

Orange Smoothie

If you like to paint pumpkins, this is the pumpkin for you. It is a fairly new variety. They are fairly small and most weigh less than 5 pounds. The flesh is edible and can be baked when you a through decorating.

Pic-A- Pie

This pumpkin is similar to a Baby Pam or New England Pie. We have been growing this pumpkin for the last few years and are very pleased with it's production and pie baking quality.

 

Prizewinner

This is a giant pumpkin variety. The skin is a darker orange than a Big Max, and the one's that we have grown tend to have a bit more of a pumpkin shape than the other giant varieties we have grown.

 

Queensland Blue

An Australian variety introduced to the U.S. in 1932.It has a deep ribbing with a buttercup shape. It is very similar to a Jarrahdale. When looked at from the side, I believe they affectionately look like Frankenstein's head. It has good baking quality and stores well. It makes a great addition to a decorative fall display. Decorate now . . . eat it later!

 

Red Warty Thing

This is a fairly new variety that is oh so cool! It's name truly fits. It has a hard warty skin that is bright red in color. It has a good quality flesh too. It stores extremely well. You should use caution when cutting into it.

Rock Star

A large modern Jack-o-lantern variety. It has a dark orange color, is medium sized and has sturdy handles. Similar to a Big Rock.

Rouge Vif d'Etampes

(see Cinderella)

 

Snack Jack

Snack Jacks are like Baby Bears in that they have a semi-hull-less seed. They are a bit larger and a bit rounder than a Baby Bear. The flesh is good to eat.

 

Valenciano

This pumpkin is fun for fall decorating . . . and when you are through it is suitable for pies. It is similar to a Lumina in color, but has the desirable flattened and deeply ribbed style of a Cinderella. The flesh is very light in color - nearly white. Be prepared if you are expecting traditional orange. It makes an unusual looking pie. It can be a bit stringy and often is high in water content, so you might want to consider pureeing it and reducing it before using it in your favorite recipe.

 

Wee-Be-Little

This little pumpkin is the perfect size for little toddlers hands. They look like a true mini pumpkin and are a shape that can be carved. They are rounder and more upright than a Jack-be-little, and usually a bit darker orange in color. Most of them are about the size of a tennis ball. Sometimes due to their round shape they don't stand particularly well on their own.

 

Wolf

This is a newer pumpkin variety. We like it because of the super strong upright handles. It is dark orange in color and is moderately sized.

Winter Squash

 

Winter Squash

We grow many different varieties of winter squash on our farm. Many are unusual and old-fashioned heirloom varieties.

 

We also grow many modern

varieties that you are likely familiar with. Below is a list of winter squash. Click the links to learn details about each variety.

 

 

 

 

Acorn

Acorn squash has an orange yellow flesh. Their flavor is sweet and nutty with a smooth texture. For best sweetness wait at least 2 weeks after harvest before you eat them. Acorns are quick and easy to prepare. Slice them in half, scoop out the seeds, place halves face down on a plate, place in a microwave, and zap them on high until fork tender. Flip them over and fill the center with butter, brown sugar or maple syrup. Eat them right out of the shell. Yum!

 

Aladdin Mini Turban

This little fellow is like a small version of a Turban. It usually has fewer lobes, and their hat is generally solid orange and not striped.

 

Amber Cup

A dry, sweet and refined squash. Suitable for almost any baking or soup purpose..

 

Blue Ballet

A smaller version of Blue Hubbard with a sweet bright orange fiber-less flesh that stores well.

 

Blue Hubbard

This squash was likely used by your great grandmother and is a fall tradition in New England. It has a finely textured, yellow-orange flesh that is medium-sweet and medium-dry with a very hard rind.

 

Black Forest (Buttercup)

Black Forest is a Kabocha type button-less Buttercup. It has a deep orange fiber-less flesh. It is medium-dry with a rich sweet flavor. Buttercups become sweeter after a few weeks, so don't be afraid to store this one.

 

Black Futsu

This is a very rare Japanese heirloom. When first harvested they are almost black in color. As they mature and cure they turn an attractive buckskin color.

 

Butternut

Butternut has the longest storage potential of all squash varieties. The longer you store it, the sweeter and nuttier the flavor becomes. Their flesh is orange, smooth-textured, and has a unique sweet flavor — particularly after 3 months storage. It will easily store in a cool, dry place through February. This squash is commonly used for pies and is terrific as a stand-alone entrée.

 

Carnival

Isn't it attractive?!? The best part? It tastes as good as it looks! It will store for several months and still maintain an excellent eating quality. Their flavor is somewhere between an Acorn and Delicata. Yummy!

 

Celebration

This squash is very similar to a Carnival or a Festival. It has an acorn-shape. The fruit is cream-colored with orange speckling.

 

Cha-cha

This is a Kobocha style squash. It does not have a belly button. It is dark green in color and has a dry, flaky and sweet flesh.

 

Delicata

Delicata is one of our favorite winter squashes. They aren't big, but they make up for it in flavor. Delicata has a very sweet light orange flesh. It is excellent for stuffing and baking. Prepare it as you would an Acorn and eat right out of the shell.

 

Festival

This squash is very similar to a Carnival. It is like a cross between an Acorn and a Sweet Dumpling. In our growing conditions, it usually has a bit more green speckling than the Carnivals.

 

Green Hubbard

Hubbards are a great choice for baking. This squash has all the same great storage and eating attributes of a Blue, Golden or Orange Hubbard only it's flesh is dark green.

 

Lakota

Lakota are a Native American heirloom variety squash, which were long lost to cultivation. They were recently rediscovered. They were highly prized by the Sioux Indians. They are as colorful as an Indian blanket with the baking quality of a Hubbard squash. They have a fine-grained orange flesh that is rather neutral in flavor. We prefer this squash as an ingredient rather than a stand alone entrée.

 

Long of Naples

This squash is an old Italian heirloom. It looks like a cross between a butternut and a La Estrella, only much larger. It has a rich sweet flesh and is good for all baking purposes..

 

Orange DawnThis is an orange Kobacha type squash. It isn't quite as dark orange as a Sunshine. It does not have a belly button. It is fairly small which makes it practical for small households. It is high in Vitamin C.

 

Orange Hubbard (also called a Gold Hubbard)

This squash was popular around the turn of the century, and is was a staple for the fall and winter pantry. Very similar to a Blue Hubbard. It is finely textured and has a yellow-orange flesh that is medium sweet and medium dry with very hard rind.

 

Orange Magic

This is a baby Hubbard. It has a delicious nutty orange flesh, and comes sized right for single meals or recipes.

 

Padana

This squash is very similar to the American Tonda. It is deeply ribbed. It has a dry sweet flesh which was traditionally used for gnocchi. It can be used for baking and soups too..

 

Pink Banana

A delectable squash that is a superb keeper and makes a sensational pie. The flesh is finer grained and sweeter than a standard pumpkin, and your family will rave at the difference. When found commercially at the grocery store you generally see this sold in chunks covered with clear plastic wrap instead of whole. Instead of pumpkin pie for holidays, we traditionally ate squash pies made by Great-Grandma Barlogio using Pink Banana Squashes.

 

Red Kuri

Red Kuri is a teardrop-shaped "baby red Hubbard" style fruit. They have a smooth-textured flesh. They are good for pies and purees because specks of skin (being red) will not show. Also know as Orange Hokkaido.

 

Small Wonder Spaghetti

This variety of Spaghetti Squash is smaller and perfect for a family meal. The flesh is a bit darker in color, is high in vitamin A and has a mild buttery taste. Good keeper.

 

Spaghetti

Spaghetti Squash makes a delicious pasta substitute. Prick the fruit with a fork all over, boil or bake until tender. Then scoop out the "spaghetti" and serve with sauce, butter or chilled in salads. Spaghetti squash stores extremely well.

 

Sweet Dumpling

Sweet dumpling winter squash are a round dainty perfect single serving size. It has a very sweet, tender golden orange flesh and is terrific for an individual stand alone entrée or for stuffing. Very similar in taste to the Delicata. If they don't sit perfectly level just trim a bit of the bottom off before baking.

 

Sweet Lightning

This variety is a wonderful treat. It looks like a rounded flattened Delicata. It is very attractive to decorate with, and then eat it when you are done!

 

Sugar Loaf

Step aside Delicata . . . this squash is our new family favorite. The yellow-orange flesh has delicious sweet, nutty flavor and dry texture. Great for stuffing and nice sized for individual servings. It's a bit smaller than the Delicata, and the vines aren't very productive, but the concentrated sweetness and flavor makes up for the small size.

 

Sweet Meat

Flesh is finely textured, with a sweet, delicious flavor. Sweet Meat is not commonly found in California or on the West Coast, but is one of the most popular winter squashes for eating.

 

Sunshine

This is a Kobocha style squash that is very similar to a Cha-Cha only it has a bright orange color. It's flesh is smooth and refined and is perfect for soups.

 

Tahitian Butternut

This squash looks like a Butternut, only with a long sometimes curved neck. Ours are much larger than a standard Butternut. They tast similar to a Butternut, and store similarly well also.

 

Turban Squash

An old time favorite for traditional fall decorating. The red color will deepen as the fall progresses. It can be eaten and is terrific stuffed with meat loaf. Sadly today it's cooking qualities are overlooked and it is most often used as a decorative gourd.

Summer Squash

 

Summer Squash

Summer time means a bounty of bright yellow and green summer squash. If you have your own garden, it probably means having enough for your neighors too!

 

Here is a list of some of the varieties of summer squash we grow on our farm. Click the links to learn details about each variety.

 

 

Crookneck

This is my favorite summer squash. It is fabulous sliced and sauteed with sweet onions, butter, garlic salt and pepper. Another fun way to prepare it is to sliced it, steam it, mash it and stir in cream, salt, pepper and a dash of sugar. Yum!

 

Gadzukes

This is a fun summer squash to grow. It is very much like a zucchini in flavor, only instead of a smooth dark green skin, it is bright greet and has scalloped edges. It you like summer squash raw with a dip, this variety is a perfect choice.

 

Gold Rush

Gold Rush is like a golden skinned zuchinni. I prefer it over a green zucchini. The flesh is a bit sweeter and denser. You can tell the difference between it and a straight neck crook as it has a green stem. This variety is a fun choice to add color to a regular sauteed zucchini dish.

 

PattyPan

Patty Pan squash come in several different colors and varieties. We grow white, green tint, yellow and bicolor. They taste very similar to a crookneck.

 

Romanesco

This variety is from Italy. It has a creamy sweet flesh. the fruit is striped green and has scalloped ridges. If you want a stand alone dish this is a better choice over standard zucchini. . It looks like a rounded flattened Delicata. It is very attractive to decorate with, and then eat it when you are done!

 

Zucchini

Zucchini is a stand by for summer squash garden production. It amazing how prolific they are, and how large the fruit can be. I prefer zucchini as an addition to a summer squash medley and not as a stand alonedish. The addition of zucchini to breads and cakes produces a fabulously moist dessert. They are also excellent stuffed with your favorite meatloaf mix.

 

Cucumbers

 

Cucumbers

Have you ever tried a Lemon Cucumber? They are so sweet you can eat them like an apple. Or how a bout a freshly picked cucumber added to your salad. Crisp and sweet, nothing like a grocery store cucumber dipped in wax or shrink wrapped. Enjoy the taste of summer by visiting a local farm in your area and experience what a field fresh cucumber tastes like.

 

Here is a list of some of the varieties of cucumbers we grow on our farm. Click the links to learn details about each variety.

 

 

 

Armenian

This variety is sweet, crisp and has a thin skin. The scallop shape is very attractive when sliced. The skins are thin enough that there is no need to peel it.

 

Diva

This cucumber is a modern hybrid. It is a dark green with a very smooth thin skin. It doesn't store well, and is best eaten right away. Don't worry though, they are sweet, crisp and so delicious they won't last long!

 

Lemon

This is my favorite cucumber we grow. It is an old-fashioned heirloom and doesn't look like a cucumber at all. It looks more like a lemon with prickles. Don't let the odd shap and color put you off. They are very mild and sweet. The larger they are, the sweeter. Just slice in have and scoop the seeds out with a spoon if you don't care for seeds. My family snacks on these like an apple.

 

Painted Serpent

This cucumber is an heirloom very similar to the Armenian. It has darker stripes between the scallop ridges. It is a good slicing cucumber.

 

Sweet Slice

This cucumber is a modern variety. It is a great slicer and good all around fresh eating cucumber.

 

 

 

Gourds

 

Cucumbers

Gourds are fun in that if properly cared for they will truly last a lifetime. We have on display at our farm store

gourds that were grown on our farm in the early 1960s. Gourds can be used to enhance a fall display, and then allow it to dry and you have the inspiration for a birdhouse, musical instrument, ornament, etc. Your imagination is the only limitation.

 

Below is a list of some of the varieties of gourds we grow on our farm. Click the links to learn details about each variety.

 

 

Alley Oop, Caveman's Club, Maranka

This variety has several different names depending upon the region you are from. For several generations our family has referred to this old heirloom as an Alley Oop gourd. Other common names are Caveman's Club and Maranka.

Apple

This gourd is a great variety to craft with. When dried the shape very closely resembles a giant apple. Add some red acrylic paint and a scrap of gourd for a leaf and it looks just like a real apple.

 

Assorted Warty

This variety makes great bowls when dried.

 

Autumn Wings, also known as Angel Wings

This variety makes great bowls when dried.

 

Baby Bottle or Miniature Birdhouse

This variety are bright green when first harvested and are great for decorating a fall table. When they dry they are a typical gourd brown and are usefull for numerous craft projects.

 

Basket or Kettle

This variety makes great bowls when dried.

 

Bi-color Pear

This variety makes great bowls when dried.

 

Birdhouse or Bottle

This gourd is most commonly used to make birdhouses.

 

Bule

This variety is an old-fashioned French heirloom. It looks just like an apple gourd only it is covered with warts. It is bright green in color when first harvested. It makes a real conversation piece.

 

 

Corsican Drum

This gourd is a useful crafting item when dried. It is commonly used to make musical instruments, small canteens, purses, tortilla warmers, shallow bowls etc.

 

Crown of Thorns

This variety makes great bowls when dried.

 

Egg

These gourds are white when first harvested and look just like a hen egg. When dried they have lots of craft uses.

 

Long Handled Dipper

If grown on a trellis this variety can get several feet long. When grown on the ground the handle usually curves into loops.

 

Penguin

 

This gourd looks very much like a bottle gourd only the shape of the head is usually more pointed and not as rounded. Crafters and musicians love this variety.

 

Snake

This variety grows into a long curving snake. If trellised they will grow quite straight.

 

Small Spoon

I love these little guys. They are bright yellow in color with white stripes and a green bulb. When harvested they can be carefully cut in half lengthwise with a hacksaw. Scrape the inside clean with a table spoon and allow them to dry on the counter for a few days. You can see where they got their name!

 

Speckled Swan

This variety is my favorite of all. When first harvested they are bright green with white speckles. They truly look like an elegent bird with the arch of their neck. They are very attractive when added to a fall pumpkin display.

 

Click here for images showing the different shapes of gourds courtesy of the Gourd Reserve.