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Squash "cheese"

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  • Geir Flatabø
    Through this magnificient forum I got some seeds of squashes Cheese ( and Connecticut field and some magnificent beans) . The unripe Cheese squash is the
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 13, 2007
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      Through this magnificient forum I got some seeds of squashes Cheese (
      and Connecticut field and some magnificent beans) .

      The unripe Cheese squash is the most bitter experience ( worse than bitter
      gourd) I have ever tasted....
      Anyone knows whether this is a property of Cheese variety,
      or if it is an atavistic property showing in just my one plant... ?

      If the bitterness is ment to be there, will it go away with ripening, or any
      special treatment.... ?
      or perhaps it is only ment for using to flavour bitter medical alcoholic
      medicines ??

      Geir Flatabø


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Culbertson
      Not sure if this is the same cheese but if it is one of the varieties of Curbita moschata (Seminole pumpkin, Calabaza, or Tan Cheese), I have not found the
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 13, 2007
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        Not sure if this is the same "cheese" but if it is one of the varieties of
        Curbita moschata (Seminole pumpkin, Calabaza, or Tan Cheese), I have not
        found the immature fruits to be bitter at all. They have subtle distinctive
        flavors some good, some not so good, but most of the ones I've tried that
        weren't "good" tended to be bland rather than bitter. They also sometimes
        have a slight soapy taste. Definitely not like bitter melon! Mature C.
        moschata pumpkins (often called pumpkin-squash) have orange pulp are used
        just like pumpkins in pumpkin pie or similar baked dishes. Mature, they
        usually have a tan colored, very hard rind and will keep for up to a year,
        depending on variety and storage conditions. The vines grow rampant and
        cover up to over 8 meter diameter area if grown in a compost pile. They
        love water, heat, and humidity which is why they do so well in the southern
        U.S. If they aren't growing that rampant for you maybe the bitterness is
        from growth stress? Then again, all of the C. moschata cross fertilize and
        there is huge variability in the species so maybe you just got a bad
        accidental cross.

        Dan Culbertson

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Geir Flatabø" <geirf@...>


        Through this magnificient forum I got some seeds of squashes Cheese (
        and Connecticut field and some magnificent beans) .

        The unripe Cheese squash is the most bitter experience ( worse than bitter
        gourd) I have ever tasted....
        Anyone knows whether this is a property of Cheese variety,
        or if it is an atavistic property showing in just my one plant... ?

        If the bitterness is ment to be there, will it go away with ripening, or any
        special treatment.... ?
        or perhaps it is only ment for using to flavour bitter medical alcoholic
        medicines ??

        Geir Flatabø
      • Cindy
        Dan, I have a question if you don t mind for you or anyone else that knows about calabaza. I was under the impression you could grow it in the summer. My vine
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 17, 2007
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          Dan, I have a question if you don't mind for you or
          anyone else that knows about calabaza. I was under the
          impression you could grow it in the summer. My vine is
          growing, but it has not flowered. I'm in coastal
          central Florida. Am I having this problem because of
          the heat?

          Thanks.

          Cindy


          ____________________________________________________________________________________
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        • Dan Culbertson
          Hi Cindy, My plants always grow rampant with no female flowers for a long while (they have some male flowers) then as fall approaches they start making female
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 2, 2007
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            Hi Cindy,

            My plants always grow rampant with no female flowers for a long while (they
            have some male flowers) then as fall approaches they start making female
            flowers and setting fruit in great profusion. I haven't yet figured out if
            the species is a bit day length sensitive or if they just take a very long
            time to start making the female flowers. Or maybe it is the summer heat
            but, since it is sometimes called a "tropical" pumpkin, I don't think so. I
            am now in north Florida but I used to live in central Florida (New Smynra)
            and they grew similarly there. Marian Van Atta, who promoted calabaza in
            her Living Off the Land newsletter and books, grew it regularly in West
            Melbourne Florida and ECHO grows it on the Florida west coast. So keep on
            waiting - I suspect it will eventually make you happy with lots of
            pumpkin/squash before any frost. If you plant them in a compost pile and
            get a time-lapse video camera you will have a start on "The Squash Plant
            That Ate My Back Yard" horror movie long before they start bearing. My last
            year's crop (the smaller "Seminole Pumpkin" variety) kept bearing
            prolifically right up though January and I still have a bunch of them saved
            in a box under the house which I eat now and then - now that is one keeper
            of a pumpkin/squash! The bigger ones (the ones usually called "calabaza"
            but there are a bunch of intermediate variants of all these varieties) keep
            almost as long. Some years I grow the small Seminole pumpkins and sometimes
            the bigger calabaza - both seem to grow the exact same way, spawling along
            the ground covering the entire back yard before they make fruit. In spite
            of rumors to the contrary, my particular Seminole pumpkin variety doesn't
            climb up oak trees and make them look like neat pumpkin trees (unless maybe
            you tie them there with rope!).

            Dan

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Cindy" <intjring@...>
            To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 12:33 PM
            Subject: Re: [pfaf] calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]


            > Dan, I have a question if you don't mind for you or
            > anyone else that knows about calabaza. I was under the
            > impression you could grow it in the summer. My vine is
            > growing, but it has not flowered. I'm in coastal
            > central Florida. Am I having this problem because of
            > the heat?
            >
            > Thanks.
            >
            > Cindy
          • intjring
            ... while (they ... female ... I have no flowers at all yet, not even female, and it s been months. The vine is growing great, though. ... very long ... heat
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 3, 2007
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              --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "Dan Culbertson" <danculb@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Cindy,
              >
              > My plants always grow rampant with no female flowers for a long
              while (they
              > have some male flowers) then as fall approaches they start making
              female
              > flowers and setting fruit in great profusion.

              I have no flowers at all yet, not even female, and it's been months.
              The vine is growing great, though.

              >I haven't yet figured out if
              > the species is a bit day length sensitive or if they just take a
              very long
              > time to start making the female flowers. Or maybe it is the summer
              heat
              > but, since it is sometimes called a "tropical" pumpkin, I don't
              think so. I
              > am now in north Florida but I used to live in central Florida (New
              Smynra)
              > and they grew similarly there. Marian Van Atta, who promoted
              calabaza in
              > her Living Off the Land newsletter and books, grew it regularly in
              West
              > Melbourne Florida and ECHO grows it on the Florida west coast. So
              keep on
              > waiting - I suspect it will eventually make you happy with lots of
              > pumpkin/squash before any frost.

              I haven't seen any curcubit take this long to flower here, but I've
              never tried to grow one in the summer either. In general, I don't
              grow them much anymore because of all the other problems I had
              (worms, mildew, etc.), and that's why I was trying something more
              native.

              >If you plant them in a compost pile and
              > get a time-lapse video camera you will have a start on "The Squash
              Plant
              > That Ate My Back Yard" horror movie long before they start
              bearing. My last
              > year's crop (the smaller "Seminole Pumpkin" variety) kept bearing
              > prolifically right up though January and I still have a bunch of
              them saved
              > in a box under the house which I eat now and then - now that is
              one keeper
              > of a pumpkin/squash! The bigger ones (the ones usually
              called "calabaza"
              > but there are a bunch of intermediate variants of all these
              varieties) keep
              > almost as long. Some years I grow the small Seminole pumpkins and
              sometimes
              > the bigger calabaza - both seem to grow the exact same way,
              spawling along
              > the ground covering the entire back yard before they make fruit.
              In spite
              > of rumors to the contrary, my particular Seminole pumpkin variety
              doesn't
              > climb up oak trees and make them look like neat pumpkin trees
              (unless maybe
              > you tie them there with rope!).

              OK, I was wondering about the difference between calabaza and
              Seminole pumpkin. Apparently this one is the calabaza.

              Thanks so much for your insights, Dan. I look forward to seeing it
              flower at some point.

              Cindy
            • Michael Porter
              Dan, where do you buy your Calabaza Squash seed?, --MichaelP Dan Culbertson wrote: Hi Cindy, My plants always grow rampant
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 3, 2007
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                Dan, where do you buy your Calabaza Squash seed?, --MichaelP

                Dan Culbertson <danculb@...> wrote: Hi Cindy,

                My plants always grow rampant with no female flowers for a long while (they
                have some male flowers) then as fall approaches they start making female
                flowers and setting fruit in great profusion. I haven't yet figured out if
                the species is a bit day length sensitive or if they just take a very long
                time to start making the female flowers. Or maybe it is the summer heat
                but, since it is sometimes called a "tropical" pumpkin, I don't think so. I
                am now in north Florida but I used to live in central Florida (New Smynra)
                and they grew similarly there. Marian Van Atta, who promoted calabaza in
                her Living Off the Land newsletter and books, grew it regularly in West
                Melbourne Florida and ECHO grows it on the Florida west coast. So keep on
                waiting - I suspect it will eventually make you happy with lots of
                pumpkin/squash before any frost. If you plant them in a compost pile and
                get a time-lapse video camera you will have a start on "The Squash Plant
                That Ate My Back Yard" horror movie long before they start bearing. My last
                year's crop (the smaller "Seminole Pumpkin" variety) kept bearing
                prolifically right up though January and I still have a bunch of them saved
                in a box under the house which I eat now and then - now that is one keeper
                of a pumpkin/squash! The bigger ones (the ones usually called "calabaza"
                but there are a bunch of intermediate variants of all these varieties) keep
                almost as long. Some years I grow the small Seminole pumpkins and sometimes
                the bigger calabaza - both seem to grow the exact same way, spawling along
                the ground covering the entire back yard before they make fruit. In spite
                of rumors to the contrary, my particular Seminole pumpkin variety doesn't
                climb up oak trees and make them look like neat pumpkin trees (unless maybe
                you tie them there with rope!).

                Dan

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Cindy" <intjring@...>
                To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 12:33 PM
                Subject: Re: [pfaf] calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]

                > Dan, I have a question if you don't mind for you or
                > anyone else that knows about calabaza. I was under the
                > impression you could grow it in the summer. My vine is
                > growing, but it has not flowered. I'm in coastal
                > central Florida. Am I having this problem because of
                > the heat?
                >
                > Thanks.
                >
                > Cindy






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Dan Culbertson
                ... Seminole pumpkin *used to be* considered the small fruited variety of pumpkin/squash that was six inches or so in diameter and the calabasa was the bigger
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 3, 2007
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                  > OK, I was wondering about the difference between calabaza and
                  > Seminole pumpkin. Apparently this one is the calabaza.

                  Seminole pumpkin *used to be* considered the small fruited variety of
                  pumpkin/squash that was six inches or so in diameter and the calabasa was
                  the bigger fruited ones from Cuba. But these days I'm not really sure there
                  is much difference except maybe in the route the genes took to get here.
                  Depending on what you call "native," the pure Seminole variety (if you can
                  really find it) is either native to Florida or native to central America
                  and brought to Florida before European settlement. The calabasa apparently
                  came here at a later date via the tropical islands south of us. But now
                  there appear to be many crosses between the two and named varieties in each
                  category and some confusion among gardenrs as to which is which. Some
                  "butternut" varieties are also thrown into the mix and the one "tan cheese"
                  that I grew a long time ago seemed even then to be pretty much a part of the
                  same range so I'm not sure if there is any real distinction between a
                  "cheese" variety and all the other "tropical" ones -- though cheese and
                  butternut are not usually considered "tropical." Even a couple of "field
                  pumpkins" also come from the same parent species, Cucurbita moschata, and I
                  believe they all cross fertilize very readily with each other. I've seen
                  up-north catalog descriptions and pictures of "tan cheese" varieties that
                  look identical to the Seminole and calabasa. The Seminole and calabasa
                  varieties I've grown have been very resistant to mildew and squash vine
                  borers but other people in this same area have told me they have lots of
                  problems with both. Maybe there is a lot of variation in pest and disease
                  resistance as well and I've just been lucky. Or maybe their saved seed was
                  contaminated with genes from the less tropical varieties like C. moschata
                  field pumpkins which are also occasionally grown near here. Anyhow, ECHO
                  technical network lists some named varieties of Seminole and calabasa
                  (below) but they don't seem to sell them as separate varieties in their U.S.
                  seed store (google on ECHO book store seeds to find the seed store). All
                  of mine have taken longer than 90 to 110 days to bear and ripen fruit so I
                  don't know about the validity of the days to maturity quoted.

                  Dan

                  Cucurbita moschata
                  Seminole Pumpkin
                  Seminole: Vigorous vines (up to 3 m), native to Florida, smaller fruits. The
                  vines will grow widely spreading along the surface of the ground, rooting at
                  nodes, or they may be trellised. The flesh can be baked, fried, boiled,
                  mashed, dried, and used in pies. Seeds can be roasted and eaten. Fruits fed
                  as forage for cattle. Soil pH: 4.5-8.3.

                  Acorn: 90 days; small acorn shaped fruit; pale orange outside with dark
                  orange flesh.

                  Crookneck: 90 days; large number of oblong pumpkins; light orange with
                  orange flesh.

                  Ingram Billie: 90 days; large number of small pumpkins; variable fruit size;
                  hardy performer.

                  Hardy: 90 days; produces a large number of pumpkins; oblong in shape; orange
                  skin with orange flesh.

                  Seminole Tropical Mix: A mix of all Seminole pumpkin varieties currently in
                  the seed bank.


                  Tropical Pumpkin/Calabaza
                  These pumpkins originated in tropical South or Central America. This crop is
                  similar to Seminole pumpkin in how it is cultivated and processed for food.
                  Soil pH: 4.5-8.3.

                  La Primera: 110 days; large round fruits; commercial cultivar in Florida;
                  orange skin with light orange flesh.

                  Tahitian Butternut: 110 days; large necked fruit; orange skin with dark
                  orange flesh.

                  Tropical Pumpkin Mix: A mix of the above two varieties.
                • Dan Culbertson
                  ... Last time I grew calabasa I believe the seeds were from ECHO seed store (http://www.echobooks.org/ ) or possibly it was from another source - not sure
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 3, 2007
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                    > Dan, where do you buy your Calabaza Squash seed?, --MichaelP
                    >

                    Last time I grew calabasa I believe the seeds were from ECHO seed store
                    (http://www.echobooks.org/ ) or possibly it was from another source - not
                    sure since I buy way too many seeds from way too many compaines! I probably
                    should have saved seeds from it but I wasn't doing that much then. Last
                    year I grew the Seminole pumpkin listed at Southern Exposure
                    (http://www.southernexposure.com) and I saved a bunch of seeds from that
                    crop. This year I'm not growing either (I still have some of the fruits
                    from last year since the frost took so long to get here). I am considering
                    the Tahitian Butternut from ECHO for next year since it sounds fun and is
                    sort of different from the other tropical pumpkins.

                    Calabasa are also listed at
                    http://www.sunriseseeds.com/WINTER%20SQUASH%20SEED.0.html
                    http://www.tropilab.com/cucur-max.html

                    I have also seen calabasa sold in the grocery store and that might be a good
                    place to get seed, especially if they are from a local source.

                    Dan
                  • intjring
                    Thanks for the info on the varieties, Dan. My squash is finally making male flowers at least. Yay! I hope we ll see some fruited flowers soon too. Cindy
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 11, 2007
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                      Thanks for the info on the varieties, Dan. My squash is finally making
                      male flowers at least. Yay! I hope we'll see some fruited flowers soon
                      too.

                      Cindy
                    • Davidoff, Lorraine
                      I have been reading the calabaza discussion. Calabaza is a generic term for pumpkin in Spanish, and includes all pumpkins. In the area of central Mexico
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 12, 2007
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                        I have been reading the "calabaza" discussion. Calabaza is a generic
                        term for "pumpkin" in Spanish, and includes all pumpkins. In the area
                        of central Mexico where I lived for about 8 years, they used it very
                        generically for squashes.

                        ________________________________

                        From: pfaf@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pfaf@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                        Dan Culbertson
                        Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 11:14 AM
                        To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [pfaf] Re: calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]




                        > OK, I was wondering about the difference between calabaza and
                        > Seminole pumpkin. Apparently this one is the calabaza.

                        Seminole pumpkin *used to be* considered the small fruited variety of
                        pumpkin/squash that was six inches or so in diameter and the calabasa
                        was
                        the bigger fruited ones from Cuba. But these days I'm not really sure
                        there
                        is much difference except maybe in the route the genes took to get here.

                        Depending on what you call "native," the pure Seminole variety (if you
                        can
                        really find it) is either native to Florida or native to central America

                        and brought to Florida before European settlement. The calabasa
                        apparently
                        came here at a later date via the tropical islands south of us. But now
                        there appear to be many crosses between the two and named varieties in
                        each
                        category and some confusion among gardenrs as to which is which. Some
                        "butternut" varieties are also thrown into the mix and the one "tan
                        cheese"
                        that I grew a long time ago seemed even then to be pretty much a part of
                        the
                        same range so I'm not sure if there is any real distinction between a
                        "cheese" variety and all the other "tropical" ones -- though cheese and
                        butternut are not usually considered "tropical." Even a couple of "field

                        pumpkins" also come from the same parent species, Cucurbita moschata,
                        and I
                        believe they all cross fertilize very readily with each other. I've seen

                        up-north catalog descriptions and pictures of "tan cheese" varieties
                        that
                        look identical to the Seminole and calabasa. The Seminole and calabasa
                        varieties I've grown have been very resistant to mildew and squash vine
                        borers but other people in this same area have told me they have lots of

                        problems with both. Maybe there is a lot of variation in pest and
                        disease
                        resistance as well and I've just been lucky. Or maybe their saved seed
                        was
                        contaminated with genes from the less tropical varieties like C.
                        moschata
                        field pumpkins which are also occasionally grown near here. Anyhow, ECHO

                        technical network lists some named varieties of Seminole and calabasa
                        (below) but they don't seem to sell them as separate varieties in their
                        U.S.
                        seed store (google on ECHO book store seeds to find the seed store). All

                        of mine have taken longer than 90 to 110 days to bear and ripen fruit so
                        I
                        don't know about the validity of the days to maturity quoted.

                        Dan

                        Cucurbita moschata
                        Seminole Pumpkin
                        Seminole: Vigorous vines (up to 3 m), native to Florida, smaller fruits.
                        The
                        vines will grow widely spreading along the surface of the ground,
                        rooting at
                        nodes, or they may be trellised. The flesh can be baked, fried, boiled,
                        mashed, dried, and used in pies. Seeds can be roasted and eaten. Fruits
                        fed
                        as forage for cattle. Soil pH: 4.5-8.3.

                        Acorn: 90 days; small acorn shaped fruit; pale orange outside with dark
                        orange flesh.

                        Crookneck: 90 days; large number of oblong pumpkins; light orange with
                        orange flesh.

                        Ingram Billie: 90 days; large number of small pumpkins; variable fruit
                        size;
                        hardy performer.

                        Hardy: 90 days; produces a large number of pumpkins; oblong in shape;
                        orange
                        skin with orange flesh.

                        Seminole Tropical Mix: A mix of all Seminole pumpkin varieties currently
                        in
                        the seed bank.

                        Tropical Pumpkin/Calabaza
                        These pumpkins originated in tropical South or Central America. This
                        crop is
                        similar to Seminole pumpkin in how it is cultivated and processed for
                        food.
                        Soil pH: 4.5-8.3.

                        La Primera: 110 days; large round fruits; commercial cultivar in
                        Florida;
                        orange skin with light orange flesh.

                        Tahitian Butternut: 110 days; large necked fruit; orange skin with dark
                        orange flesh.

                        Tropical Pumpkin Mix: A mix of the above two varieties.






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Dan Culbertson
                        Yes - the generic Spanish word makes it even more confusing sometimes - especially if you are looking at websites in spanish-speaking countries. Probably
                        Message 11 of 11 , Sep 12, 2007
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                          Yes - the generic Spanish word makes it even more confusing sometimes -
                          especially if you are looking at websites in spanish-speaking countries.
                          Probably "Tropical Pumpkin" would be the best common English name for those
                          Cucurbita moschata varieties that are now in North America but imported from
                          tropical climates. I'm still not sure that the "tan cheese" varieties of C.
                          moschata are the same as the Seminole Pumpkin varieties but the Tropical
                          Pumpkins usually called "calabaza" in Florida are a tad different - they
                          have less of the tan and are more varied in skin colors (some are sort of
                          speckled). Still pretty similar but I *think* there might legitimately be
                          two classes - the "tan cheese" class, which includes the so-called Seminole
                          Pumpkin from North Florida and is a slightly more northern-clime type of
                          plant, and the "Tropical Pumpkin" which is still C. moschata but adapted to
                          more southern climes. It would be nice if there was a geneticist PhD
                          student out there who wanted to get a thesis from clearing up the
                          relationships of the whole C. moschata tribe. Be an interesting study I'd
                          think. My own gestimate, just from my experience and from looking at the
                          catalog pictures and such, is that all the Tan Cheese ones came to North
                          America through Mexico prior to European settlement and the "Tropical
                          Pumpkin" ones came here more recently through the ethnic food trade.
                          Haven't the foggiest if the "Tahittian Butternut" or "Tahittian Melon
                          Squash" actually came from Tahitti. The regular butternut looks a lot more
                          like the Tan Cheese color than Tropical Pumpkin so I suspect they might be
                          just a form of that class or maybe they are all in a third class of their
                          own. A most confusing tribe of pumpkin/squashes!

                          By the way, for those who don't know it, the story about Seminole Pumpkin is
                          that when the Spanish explorers came through North Florida they saw trees
                          with ripe pumpkins hanging on them and thought they were a new type of tree
                          that fruited pumpkins. Supposedly what they really saw were oaks that had
                          been girdled so they died and pumpkin plants planted at the base so they
                          grew up into the tree as if it were a trellis. I don't know how true that
                          story is - every time I try to get Seminole Pumpkins to grow up a tree (dead
                          or otherwise) the vines just fall to the ground and run along it like a
                          normal pumkin plant. So I have my doubts. Neat story though.

                          Dan

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Davidoff, Lorraine" <jdavidoff@...>
                          To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:48 AM
                          Subject: RE: [pfaf] Re: calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]


                          >I have been reading the "calabaza" discussion. Calabaza is a generic
                          > term for "pumpkin" in Spanish, and includes all pumpkins. In the area
                          > of central Mexico where I lived for about 8 years, they used it very
                          > generically for squashes.
                          >
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