NC Candy Roasters

fill2March 26, 2010

I have just learned about these nice squash. Managed to get some seed and planted some. My cousin just cooked up her last one and is canning it for pumpkin pies. You can also freeze it. Cant wait to see them growing!!

Anyone else growing them?


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I just bought some seeds. I'm hoping to grow them this year. I think my uncle said he grew them last year and they were HUGE.

How big did your squashes get to be? How long were your vines? How many squashes did you get per plant?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 8:54PM
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susancol(7 Atlanta)

It's funny because I'm growing GA Candy Roasters. Wonder if they're actually different or if we just have a war of the states over custody of the squash...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 3:58PM
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A rose by any other name! There is a North Georgia Candy Roaster which is a small ( 10 lb) variant of the Pink Banana Squash. There is also the Candy Roaster ( sometimes called the Georgia Candy Roaster which is a big (60 lb) varient of the Pink Banana squash. Then there is the Candy Roaster sold by fedco which is a Buttercup type squash said to originate in North Carolina.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:52PM
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I will let you know as soon as I see one. They are currently planted, the vine looks vigorous so far. Sue said they are "big". I will photo them and we can compare!!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 6:58PM
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susancol(7 Atlanta)

Oh boy. I did some research into my seed orders, and I can see that while I thought I had N. GA Candy Roasters, I actually have the Fedco Candy Roasters which are the NC Candy Roasters according to the expert, Farmerdilla. We'll get to see if they grow huge in Atlanta, so I'll post my results to the thread as well!


    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 4:14PM
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A friend gave me candy roaster seeds which I planted and to my delight they grew and I have 5 mellons on the vines, 2 of which are a nice size, 3 are still very young. How do I know when they are to be harvested? I had never heard of this vegetable until she introduced it to me, and I am anxious to learn more. Can anyone help?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 10:12PM
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Same rules as for all winter squash. Usually best to harvest when vines start dying, but can be harvested when the skin is too hard to dent with a fingernail.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Thank you so much for your answer. That means that I have 2 that are ready to harvest, 2 baby ones that are small and green and 1 that is growing and turning orange. I can hardly wait to see what is inside. Do you have any advice on how to cook and/or can them? I really appreciate your wisdom and experience.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 7:07PM
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Both the Georgia Candy Roasters should have a banana shape and will be pink when ripe. The Fedco Candy Roaster is buttercup type, round with a pronounced blossom scar. It does turn Orangy when ripe. If they are the buttercup type, They will be small enough to split and bake. The larger types you cut up and cook for pies, purees , soups etc. I prefer to baked them then run through a blender, but some folks including the folks that produce commercial pumpkin pie filling boil them til tender.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 7:02PM
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Our family has grown candy roasters for generations. Seeds have been past down for years. Best pies,candy butter (like peach butter) and breads ever. We have a field full this year, have a couple that will probably weigh over 75 pounds.
We can, freeze and dry the roaster meat. I have kept them in the cellar over the winter, just have to keep them cool and dry. We have fun when the vine is growing, people stop and ask if they can go see the huge leaves growing in the fields. Kids get real excited. Someone asked if you feed the plant sugar water will this make the squash sweeter. Anyone tried this?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 9:32PM
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What is the difference in NC and Georgia candy roasters? Are there other varieties as well? My friend bought one that was huge. The ones in my garden are not so big. Is there anything special to do to the seeds to preserve them for planting next year?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 10:15PM
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As mentioned above, The North Carolina Candy Roaster ( Fedco seems to have dropped that designation this year) is a buttercup type. The North Georgia Candy Roaster is a small version (10 lbs) of the Pink Banana while the Georgia Candy Roaster is a a Jumbo (60+ lbs) version of the Pink Banana

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Does anyone have true nc candy roaster seeds other than fedco? My grandpa and dad talks about them from there childhood (nc mountains) all the time and I would love to get some more before my grandpa passes. Any ideas or anyone willing to part with some seeds?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Ref. saving candy roaster seed, take the seeds out of the roaster and spread them out on an opened paper bag. Get as much flesh off of the seeds as you can. Allow them to dry really well. Then place the seeds in a smaller paper bag and put bag seeds and all in a zip lock, getting as much air out as you can, then place it in the freezer until spring planting time. We have great success with this. We grow Georga candy roasters, they are hugh, and we grow long pink ones. I got 24 quarts off of one candy roaster this year. Oh, sometimes if I have one get mushy before harvest time I will throw it in a cleared spot near the creek and when the young plants come up in the spring I just move them into rows. We also have one type that has a real small end with a larger bottom. I don't know the name for this one, however, it still taste good. We live in McDowell Co and grow them in Yancey Co too.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 9:02PM
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I am growing Seminole pumpkins, north Georgia candy roasters, and black beauty zuccini squash all together. Maybe a dumb question but is that going to mess up my genetics.

Also if I was growing any variety of summer squash with any variety of winter squash in close proximity will that mess up my genetics? Excluding the second winter squash variety.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 5:39PM
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Those three are different species so you should be ok. winter squash in the C. pepo group will cross with the summer squash in the C.pepo group, so if you want to save seeds you would have to bag.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Here in the Southern Appalachians many seed varieties become localized. Some long time families actually have generational seed-beans and squash in particular.
"Candy Roaster" is actually a generic term used to refer to any squash that are particularly sweet and suitable for pies, deserts and roasting and are preferred locally over Pumpkin. The name says it all. Sweet and roastable!
As mentioned, GA and N.GA Candy Roasters are banana types and NC Candy roaster is a Buttercup type or form. Both are C. Maxima and so will cross.
For those of you saving seed and having multiple plantings of different varieties check the scientific name. There are three squash families - C. Pepo, C. Maxima and C. Mochata. If you pick one from each family they usually won't cross (never say never!). To be sure your seed is pure it would probably be best to cover your plants for seed stock with fine mesh boxes to isolate varieties or hand pollinate.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:38PM
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