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Squash or gourd - edible?

Renate Howard
pollinator

Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
    
    9
I've got some softball-sized fruits from either a squash or gourd, problem is, I'm not sure what I planted (I think it was a mini hubbard but could be an ornamental mini gourd). Are non-edible gourds poisonous or just unpleasant to eat? If they cross-pollinate and hybridize, is it safe to eat the resulting fruit or should I just roast and eat the seeds from this batch?
Kelby Taylor


Joined: Jun 15, 2013
Posts: 46
Location: SE Pennsylvania, USA
If you can get a picture someone might be able to say if it's a edible squash.

Worst case scenario is it's an ornamental variety and tastes terrible when you cook it.

If you save any seed, I've normally seen them come fairly true to type, but who knows what you might get.
Renate Howard
pollinator

Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
    
    9
These are the 2 I picked. There are still more outside. Those plants are much more productive than the bigger types!
John Elliott
pollinator

Joined: May 08, 2013
Posts: 2040
    
  64
Inedible usually just means unpleasant tasting, not poisonous. A good example is the coyote melon. They are much too bitter and soapy tasting to ever think of swallowing any.

But they can still be useful. Even if the flesh is nasty, the seeds may not be. You can roast them to make pepitas or press them for oil. And if the oil has an off taste, well, at least you can make soap out of it.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6677
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
"Inedible" is a relative term. What is 'inedible' to humans may be a gourmet treat for hogs or chickens.
The squash/gourd family produce many pounds of fruit per plant, and grow like 'weeds' - almost indestructible.

Worst case scenario: they are edible to the microbes in a compost heap, or a worm bin.

Kelby Taylor


Joined: Jun 15, 2013
Posts: 46
Location: SE Pennsylvania, USA
They look to me like small face pumpkins. You could eat them, but usually face pumpkins are tasteless and hard as a rock. But give it a try, you never know!
Renate Howard
pollinator

Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
    
    9
I tried to cut one open to see what's inside. They feel heavy like they're fleshy inside, but I think I'd have to use a hammer to get it open - my best knives were no match for the hard shell.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6677
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
Got a hacksaw?
Jessica Gorton
pollinator

Joined: Sep 09, 2012
Posts: 215
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
    
  21
I can't wait to see if my volunteer squash plants in the compost bin are going to be at all tasty! One looks like an acorn, the other, who knows? Only problem with unintended squash is that I neglected to check them for squash bug eggs and found a bunch of young squash bugs on them. Bah! I thought I had done so well in controlling that particular pest. So, I sprayed them with a vinegar and dishsoap mixture, which seemed to zap the little ones right off, but the big ones kept moving about - do you think they'll go somewhere to die? Or do I have to go in that jungle and squish them by hand?


My project thread: http://www.permies.com/t/20399/projects/Maine-Master-Plan
 
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