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La Madera Squash, from the Mountains of New Mexico

Discussion in 'Fruits & Vegetables' started by digitS', Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Aug 6, 2014
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    This is what I called the "white" La Madera winter squash the other day (link) on @MIchael Hibberd 's thread on "What's New!" DSC01032.JPG
    There it is in the early morning light. It grew a great deal from just a week ago when it was about the size of a softball! The color has remained about the same. @Hal recommended it and La Madera is doing fine in my garden. Is this about the color that you refered to as "grey," @Hal ?

    The orange is below:

    [​IMG]
    I just looked at these plants from a distance. It is getting to be a jungle out there! This is in the "garden extension" and about 30 yards from where the pumpkins were doing so well in 2013. Well, they are doing the same in their new location!

    It is a hotter summer and the Buttercup is running rampant between pumpkins and La Madera. It is fast approaching an impenetrable 50' by 50' area. Luckily, the weeds are pretty much out of there.

    Steve :)
     
  2. Aug 6, 2014
    journey11

    journey11 Garden Master

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    I have only one question... Do they make good pies? :D

    I always underestimate how far my squash vines will go to take over the world. I had to move my electric chicken fence today because the squash and cantaloupe were trying to climb up and through it. They've gone up the corn and into the bean teepees too. I don't think I've ever had such vigorous squash vines before. Must be all the rain.
     
  3. Aug 6, 2014
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    I sure hope so, Journey!

    They may go to other things but pie will be their most important use :). Both Thanksgiving and Christmas ...

    Maybe, Hal knows about pie. I use the Libby recipe. It's on the cans of Carnation milk.

    Steve
     
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  4. Aug 6, 2014
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    Very interesting squash Steve, keep posting about this squash!
     
  5. Aug 6, 2014
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Just in case it matters, I think the yellow one is prettier.
     
  6. Aug 6, 2014
    Hal

    Hal Deeply Rooted

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    Not even close on that pale one, that is a totally different color to what I had.
    You have had two completely different colored squash to what I did and both are quite nice. La Madera is good because the diversity is strength and it can be further adapted and selected from to meet specific needs.

    I do indeed know about pie, I grow a specific Australian C. moschata that is purely grown for pie baking but has fallen into obscurity with the lack of young people taking up gardening and commercial squash taking over which are all lousy in some respect. My family and some close family friends still grow it for pie and have our own strains. I'd like to introduce it to the US since I doubt it has even made it there from my research. I did post some photos once before. The Australians who still grow squash for pie tend to almost exclusively grow C. moschata for pie as we have a fair few variants that have a long history of pie making.

    The squash is very very sweet and has deep orange flesh, it is good steamed till tender but not over cooked or made into pumpkin scones. It is too moist to be a roasting squash we stick to our blue/green skinned C. maxima for that mostly.

    I'd get shot for posting the family recipe online, if anyone wants the gist of it send me a PM. There are so many variations to the pie recipe here and a lot of them are awful adding actual milk, sultanas or other weird things that take away from the squash or make the pie go off very fast.
    Ours is very very very simple bare bones with the squash being the main focus.

    I can rant about squash till the cows come home.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  7. Aug 6, 2014
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    Diversity is Strength.

    I like that :). Here's the Native Seed listing with the picture (link).

    I enjoyed the Google street view look at the community and environment. Have not been to this part of New Mexico but the adjacent area of Colorado is so similar to here, I was immediately encouraged by the location of La Madera.

    There is some rule of thumb that I'm always forgetting about elevation = degrees of latitude. Not absolute but the separation of 1,000+ miles has less meaning than the native plants and animals.

    Squash is an annual and we don't have to be concerned about winter hardiness, of course. However - I'm beginning to think that the Marmot or the Mountain Cottontail rabbit are likely to know more about my garden environment than maybe even I do.

    Steve :)
     
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  8. Aug 7, 2014
    MIchael Hibberd

    MIchael Hibberd Garden Ornament

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    What gourdy squash.

    I like them muchly! Good eatin'.
     
  9. Aug 7, 2014
    Hal

    Hal Deeply Rooted

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    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.JPG
    @baymule this squash is the one I was speaking of higher up the thread.
    Now a lot of the old timers grew this for pie, this squash was called a Gramma, Rio or Rhio.
    It is Cucurbita moschata, they are not terribly long keepers maybe 3 months or so but I've had them keep for 6 months when properly cured and stored.
    They do put out quite a decent sized vine but to support multiple fruit that get up to 50 pounds you need that vine.
    I have about 3 jars full of seed, the fruit were grown by a family friend who only grows this and a C. maxima called Queensland Blue in a fairly isolated area away from town so seed purity has never been an issue, I can provide seed to anyone interested customs regulations permitting of course.
     
  10. Aug 7, 2014
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    The looks of squash baffle me ... the different species often look quite a bit alike. And yet, they have a range ...( it was probably several years before I finally got it into my head that Jack o'lantern pumpkins are brothers to zucchini.)

    Your 3rd photo of the C. moschata squash looks like the Marina De Chioggia squash (C. maxima) I grew last year. However, those didn't develop the warts that the seed catalogs like to show.

    They also didn't mature properly but I'm giving 1 plant another chance thinking that it may have just been the rambunctious pumpkins that interfered with Marina's maturity in 2013.

    I will be so bold as to link the post where you show some of your La Madera, Hal: (LINK). In my garden, they do look to be a different color. Keep in mind that they should have another 6 weeks before frost.

    Steve.
     
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