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Pumpkin Varieties - Pick your own experience

 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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We took the family to a local PYO pumpkin farm. They had a whole field of the bland carving variety that we get in supermarkets here, but also a good selection of different traditional eating varieties.

We bought a dozen and will be cooking and taste testing over the next few weeks.

Individual varieties will be tasted and posted here as we eat them.

Feel free to add your own comments and pumpkin tastings. I’m hoping to pick a couple of favourites to grow next year ourselves.

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Various pumpkins!
Various pumpkins!
 
pollinator
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We went to a farm out northeast of us called Cooper's. They do corn mazes (Maize mazes?). You can get pretty lost.

They also have a large pick-your-own field. What I thought was brilliant was that in between patches of wildly and widely variable but still mostly conventional-looking pumpkins were patches bearing clearly hybridized fruit. I recognised acorn, spaghetti, butternut, and some ornamental gourds in the mix, but I didn't know what to make of the various ones that looked to be squat pumpkins in red-orange and yellow-green colours slowly giving birth to small spaghetti squashes.

By the way the cows were staring longingly from the next paddock over, I got the impression that they were probably allowed to clean up the leftovers after the season was done.

Overall, I was impressed. The cost of admission included trips through three maizes and one pumpkin. They also have a CSA which is top of my list when I get to joining a CSA, or just the next time I'm rolling by.

-CK
 
Michael Cox
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This is the one we cooked some of last night. Half a pumpkin was plenty for 4 adults roasted. The flavour was rich and nutty, and it caramelised a bit while in the roasting dish, so I guess it has a pretty high sugar content. Great orange colour, very enjoyable.
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Onion Squash
Onion Squash
 
Michael Cox
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Regarding hybrids - I’m not planning on seed saving from these. They had lots of varieties growing close together, including ornamental (not edible) gourds. I’m happy exploring the range of conventional varieties for now.

Our own homegrown pumpkins were Queensland Blues. We got three fully ripe large pumpkins and some smaller unripe ones. We have been cooking the unripe ones. Perfectly enjoyable roasted but not and exciting flavour. The ripe onion squash was far superior in flavour to the under ripe Queensland blue (not at all surprising).
 
pollinator
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Our favorite squash/pumpkin is Sweet Keeper (Cucurbita maxima). We grew these in Denver but haven't tried them since we moved north. Not sure if they will ripen in time here. They had a rich, sweet flavor with a nice texture - not mealy or watery. And they did keep until March in a cool 50 F room. They absolutely loved growing next to the driveway so that the vines could extend out and soak up the heat. We got two good sized fruits per vine.

"Sweet Keeper Squash is flattened, with bluish-grey rind with moderate ribbing, and deep orange flesh inside.

It grows 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) wide by 5 to 6 inches (12 1/2 to 15 cm) tall, and weighs 5 to 10 pounds (2 1/4 to 4 1/2 kg.)

The plants’ vines spread out to 30 feet (9 metres.)

95 to 105 days from seed."
 
pollinator
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I've successfully grown those red kuri squashes, but gave them up for a bigger green/white type (still pretty red on the inside).  Both have a great flavour and keep very well.  We cooked our last 2019 green kuri squash at Easter of this year, a full six months after harvest, and it still tasted wonderful.  

They weren't so big this year though--today my son and I picked our little harvest from the allotment.  They probably won't last till Easter!  Last year's weighed several kgs each and were the size of flattened footballs, but I'll be lucky if the biggest one weighs even 1 kg:  cricket ball, if that.

My pumpkins had a bit of a better showing, but I don't know the variety--too bad really, because they are really dense and tasty.  
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Green kuris in front and unknown variety culinary pumpkins
Green kuris in front and unknown variety culinary pumpkins
 
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Sweet dumpling is a good one as it's small, portion sized, I find uchi kiri ok, but it's not the best keeper. My favourite is Crown prince and it looks like you have at least one of those in your collection. they keep right the way through till march just chucked on a table in the back room.
 
Michael Cox
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Sweet dumpling is a good one as it's small, portion sized, I find uchi kiri ok, but it's not the best keeper. My favourite is Crown prince and it looks like you have at least one of those in your collection. they keep right the way through till march just chucked on a table in the back room.



Yes, we have a couple of crown price. I'm looking forward to trying them.
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