YAHOO! Old Seed Ressurected!

iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)June 20, 2009

9-10 years ago when I lived in North Carolina's "High Country" -- Watauga and Jefferson Counties -- I was given an unusual squash. It was large, round, pink, and slightly flattened, though not so flat as the then newly popular "Cinderella" pumpkins. I was told that it was a "pie pumpkin" and told to save the seed.

It was one of the most delicious squash I've ever tasted.

It was a couple years before I could try to plant any of it and I was never able to get it to grow. I had believed that at some point during multiple moves that seed had encountered conditions that had killed it.

This year I made a last effort. I threw handfuls of the seed into the best place I had -- the spot where I'd removed an old compost heap. To my great delight as many as 1 in 3 of those seeds have sprouted.

I'll be very interested to see what the pumpkins are like. Especially to compare them to the Long Island Cheese that I'm growing since that's the best match I've ever found for that pumpkin's description.

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weirdtrev

Saying it is similar to long island cheese and that it was referred to as a pie pumpkin, makes me thing you had an amish pie pumpkin. But I don't know if I would consider it round or pink (I think it is shaped like a strawberry and tan colored). Anyway it is supposed to be a delicious pumpkins for pie. Here is a picture:

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:27AM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

No, it was nothing like that shape.

It was wide and flattened. It looked very much like the pictures of the Long Island Cheese except that it was larger than the description for that variety. Probably about 15lbs. I remember getting multiple meals from it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:55PM
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macmex

Are you planning to hand pollinate, or are you isolated enough from others that you will be able to save seed?

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:09PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I have a number of different winter squash planted with multiples of each species since I'm in a new zone and need to see what will grow well. My plan is to hand-pollinate some of these.

They may be Long Island Cheese or they may be some little-known, Appalachian strain. I'll find out when I can sit the two varieties side by side.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:03PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

The plants are old enough now to start to compare them. The Long Island Cheese does not have silver mottling on its leaves. The plants from the resurrected seed, which I'm tentatively calling "Watauga Pie Pumpkin", do have the silver mottling. Its too soon to see if they have it to the same extent that the Argonaut squash do.

I'll give them a few more days to put on some new leaves then I'll post some pictures.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 1:09PM
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dirtdauberz5mo

Keep us posted, I'm interested. The Tatume squash I planted had the silver mottling on the first leaves, but subsequent larger ones have been solid green....

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 5:11PM
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julietnj(Zone 6/7)

Hi! I think I might have found your squash/pumpkin? Does this look like it? It's called Boston Marrow.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o27/faith335/Pumpkin.jpg

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 9:59PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

No. My squash is definitely not a Boston Marrow. That photo doesn't match the other photos of Boston Marrow I've seen and the original squash didn't match either your photos or the other type. http://www.cherrygal.com/images/SquashBostonMarrow.jpg My squash was both a flattened globe shape and a pale color more pink than orange but, IIRC, not as tan as a butternut. It was nowhere near as boldly colored as any version of the Boston Marrow.

Its possible that my squash may be a relative of Old-Fashioned Tennessee Vining Pumpkin, though the ones in the picture are taller and less symmetrical. http://www.southernexposure.com/productlist/prods/53603.html

I'll have photos next week of my "Watuaga Pie Pumpkin" plants to compare to the Long Island Cheese plants. They are obviously different even young -- my unknown one has the silver mottling on the leaf while the Long Island Cheese does not.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 10:25PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I have photos of the growing plants for comparison:

First, the Long Island Cheese:

Next, my Watauga Pie Pumpkin (you can see that the two are definitely not a match):

And, for comparison purposes between two mottled-leaf varieties, the Argonaut:

I've seen pictures of the Old-Fashioned Tennessee Vining Pumpkin fruits, but none of the vines. Is anyone growing that and, if so, could you post a photo?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 10:53AM
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sazji(8bNW Turkey)

I'm fascinated! I'm sorry I can't help you with the identification but I love growing winter squash, espeically interesting old varieties. Beautiful leaves too. Can I request a little seed if you have extra? I can send you seed of a very good and slightly bizarre one from Turkey (there's a thread on it here, the Adapazari squash). I'm growing Rouge Vif d'Etampes ("Cinderella") and Marina di Chioggia this year.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 6:13PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I do have some extras of my very old seed. I'm going to hand-pollinate them when the blossoms start so I can get good seed in this year's crop.

Assuming that my seed comes true to my memory and my hand-pollination works I'm intending to offer the seed to gardeners who's like to try it once I've got a fresh supply.

If you want to take your chances with some of my 10-year-old seed -- I can't guarantee any degree of reliable germination -- I'll be happy to send some. And I'd love to try the Adapazari squash. :-)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 7:48PM
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sazji(8bNW Turkey)

Well, it's too late for this year anyway I think; just make sure you bag those female flowers the day before they open if you're growing any other varieties around! :) By the way the yahoo email address is wrong; I'm using dolichos@gmail.com now. I tried resetting it but it won't let me do it without picking a state (in US - I live in friggin' Istanbul!). I don't have Adapazarý seed just now but the markets are full of it in the fall and I'll get you some. There's a big oblong pumpkin they grow in the east of Turkey that i want to get my hands on too. (Heh...I said "no more big squash" but who am I fooling...)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:43PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I've studied the thread on how to hand pollinate squash and am going to practice on my summer squash this week.

Hopefully I'll have good, fresh, uncrossed Watauga Pie Pumpkin seed come fall.

Fortunately, since I have 4 kids big squash aren't a problem for me.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:50PM
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gardener_mary(6 MA)

Your pumpkin/squash sounds very interesting and looks very nice. If you are open to sharing a few I would be willing to take a chance with those 10 yr old seeds.

Good gardening, Mary

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 12:21AM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

Here are some photos of the largest plant and the very first female flower. Its growing on top of a compost pile and vining across some sweetpotatoes.

I'll keep adding photos as things grow and develop.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:43AM
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macmex

I am growing a squash which I received from Garden Web member "rodger" who lives in NC. It's called Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin and has variable shaped fruit. So far I've noted mango shaped, watermelon shaped and ridge fruit. I planted about 6-8 plants and they are taking over an entire garden! Here's a picture of the leaves of Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin. Rodger says that this one was traditionally grown in the corn, in that neck of the woods and that they used the fruit for pies, even when they were still green. (I don't know how they did that!)

George
Tahlequah, OK

Here's a picture of some of the vine & leaves, along with a mango shaped fruit which had recently been hand pollinated.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 5:23PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

Looks like the leaves are quite similar, just slightly deeper lobes and a coarser tooth around the edge. A cousin, perhaps?

I should be able to get a better picture of the first female flower tomorrow.

The ones I saw when living in the High Country were uniformly round and slightly flattened with very little variation in size and shape.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 5:45PM
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howden777(7)

Hey, guys. Just curious if iam3killerbs was able to get mature fruit and (more importantly) fresh seeds... Did the fruit match your memories? Were you able to track down the actual variety?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:54PM
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jatallant87_yahoo_com

I grew up in Catawba County in NC and my Daddy gave me some seeds of what he called a mountain pumpkin 30 years ago or so. He said he had looked for them for years. I have kept growing them since then and the leaves look like the pictures. They set roots along the vines as they run and I believe they are a type of Cucurbita moschata. The pumpkins are flattened and moderate in size. They make great pies, the flesh is dark orange and flavorful. I have enough seeds from past years to share if anyone is interested is trying to grow them.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:52AM
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christine00(6)

i would be interested in growing a few! winter squash are fascinating!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 4:10PM
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