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Re: [pfaf] calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]

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  • Michael Porter
    Dan, where do you buy your Calabaza Squash seed?, --MichaelP Dan Culbertson wrote: Hi Cindy, My plants always grow rampant
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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