Winter Squash & Pumpkins

flowerbug

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Tuna fish soup! Eeeeewww! LOL
at first flinch it does sound pretty terrifying to me too, but then i recall that i used to make ramen noodles and tuna with hot sauce and various spices and then at the end to cool it down i'd put in some mixed frozen veggies or frozen peas and it was good eats.

i'm not really that much of a seafood eater (it has to be fresh) and also not much of a fish eater, but when i was able to fish for them myself i was ok to eat them.

i got pretty overloaded with canned tuna as i was eating a lot of it so since then i've not really been eating much of it. we have it a few times a month here and that's good enough for me.
 

flowerbug

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I've been provided with a beautiful little squash. I really enjoy it, I will cook and freeze a little. Can someone tell me how to keep the seeds please and the best weather conditions to plant them :)

View attachment 37120
aside from @Zeedman 's comments about seed saving, what i do is when i clean the squash out i squeeze the seeds through my fingers to separate them from the fibers/flesh that sticks to them and then i dry them on a tray (making sure to stir them a few times a day so they can evenly dry). once dry they may still have some flesh attached to the seeds, but that's no big deal. if you really want that gone when they are dry you can put the seeds in your hands and kinda rub them and the slippery coating and bits of flesh will come off and you'll have reasonably clean seeds after that.

at least this works for the common squashes we've been growing.

for the melons it has worked better for me to put the seeds/pulp in some water and then to gently remove the seeds and separate the pulp. since the melon seeds don't have as much of the slimy coat i just squirt them with a little soap, wash them around the strainer and then after i rinse them i hit them with a weak bleach solution and count to half a minute and then rinse them off again before drying them off and then putting them on a towel to dry further. i still have melon seeds on the counter from a few weeks ago since i've kept adding more seeds as i've picked melons. i want to make sure everything there is really dry before i put them in a container again since i had mold pop up on me the first time i tried this.
 

digitS'

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I didn't think that I would like tuna in soup but was surprised. Two things: First, I don't buy tuna canned in oil for anything. Second, we are talking about a mild vegetable here: immature squash or a Jack o'lantern pumpkin. (Maybe: Third, I was born on the Monterey Peninsula, just a hop and a skip from Fisherman's Wharf :).)

So, this isn't a Pumpkin Bisque. I crave pumpkin bisque. I mean, just some onions or shallots sautéed in bacon, the cream ... No ... I went looking for a zucchini soup recipe and found several with fish.

Steve ;)
 

Marie2020

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aside from @Zeedman 's comments about seed saving, what i do is when i clean the squash out i squeeze the seeds through my fingers to separate them from the fibers/flesh that sticks to them and then i dry them on a tray (making sure to stir them a few times a day so they can evenly dry). once dry they may still have some flesh attached to the seeds, but that's no big deal. if you really want that gone when they are dry you can put the seeds in your hands and kinda rub them and the slippery coating and bits of flesh will come off and you'll have reasonably clean seeds after that.

at least this works for the common squashes we've been growing.

for the melons it has worked better for me to put the seeds/pulp in some water and then to gently remove the seeds and separate the pulp. since the melon seeds don't have as much of the slimy coat i just squirt them with a little soap, wash them around the strainer and then after i rinse them i hit them with a weak bleach solution and count to half a minute and then rinse them off again before drying them off and then putting them on a towel to dry further. i still have melon seeds on the counter from a few weeks ago since i've kept adding more seeds as i've picked melons. i want to make sure everything there is really dry before i put them in a container again since i had mold pop up on me the first time i tried this.
Thank you! :)
 

Ridgerunner

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Flowerbug is right, they need to be really dry or they can mold. Good point.

The way I store mine is to put them in a glass jar with a lid and keep them where the temperatures do not get too hot. A cabinet or closet in the house is good. The reason I use a glass jar is so bugs or vermin can't get to them and eat them.

If you wish you can freeze them or keep them in the fridge. A zip-loc bag works. No vermin in the fridge or freezer. I don't know how many years squash seeds stored in a glass jar at room temperature will last, it should be a few. They will last even longer in the fridge or freezer. A dark storage space is considered good. Next spring should be no problem at all for your seeds.

When I save this type of seed I'm not planning on sharing them. If I were I'd wash them off too. If you are going to wash them, wash them right after you cut the squash open. if you wash them after they have dried I'd be concerned they might sprout.

Winter squash can be hard to cut or peel. Some people (including me) have been known to cook them before peeling or cutting to make that a lot easier. If you are going to save seeds do not cook them first, you can kill them. If you think about it this should be intuitive but I've read about people doing it. Sometimes the obvious isn't obvious.
 

flowerbug

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once they are really dry they'll keep ok in a container or envelopes or baggies or ... freezer i've never tried. i have mine in a quart yogurt container with the lid on or off at various times.

they do not need to be ever rinsed in my experience. i just get the bits of flesh off them that i can and then once dried completely when you rub them in your hands you can remove any thing that is left on them. it comes right off. at least with the buttercup, kobochas, and other squash we've been growing.

i don't grow summer squash or cucumbers but those seeds might be more like the melon squash and not have that slimy coating on them that dries to a very thin shiny film that flakes off when rubbed. i have no experience with zuchini raising and have never kept cucumber or any other summer squash seeds. i'm just talking about pumpkin/winter squash seeds other than the melon seeds i mentioned above.

i haven't yet cut open a hubbard squash to see what those seeds are like. can't say anything from experience yet with those other than growing them.
 

Zeedman

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i don't grow summer squash or cucumbers but those seeds might be more like the melon squash and not have that slimy coating on them that dries to a very thin shiny film that flakes off when rubbed.
It's a little off topic, but since you mentioned cucumber seed...

Yes, they do have a membrane around each seed, which can be difficult to separate. The cucumber must be fully ripe, far beyond the stage at which it is normally harvested (the same can be said for saving summer squash seeds). It helps to let the seeds remain in the cucumber as long as possible, several weeks after picking or until it starts to spoil, whichever comes first. The seeds within will continue to fatten up, which will increase their storage life. A little mold on the outside of the cucumber will not damage the seed.

For seed saving, I cut the cuke in half lengthwise, cutting around the outside to avoid damaging the seeds. Scrape the seeds & as much juice as possible into a container (preferably one which will be thrown away after). Scraping the seed cavity with a spoon will increase the amount of juice. DO NOT ADD WATER. This mixture will be allowed to ferment (the same process as fermenting tomato seed), so place the container in a location where the smell will not be a problem. Watch the seed carefully, stirring at least once a day, to check if the membranes have begun to detach.

At the first sign of broken membranes (usually after 2-3 days) pour the mixture into a larger container, add water, and beat vigorously with a wire whisk. Most of the membranes should separate, and the good seed will sink to the bottom. If seeds are floating at the top which appear to be good, their membranes may still be attached, and further vigorous stirring with the wire whisk may be needed. After the good seed has settled to the bottom, carefully pour about 1/2 of the water off the top; debris & bad seeds will float & be poured off. Add water & repeat until nothing remains but the seeds at the bottom. Pour this seed through a strainer, wick off as much moisture as possible, then spread the seeds out on a flat surface & dry them as quickly as possible.

This process seems complicated, but you won't need to do it often. Cucumber seed, properly dried & stored in a cool location, has a very long life. Mine have survived as long as 10 years, in a sealed container at 68-70 F. room temperature.

Keep in mind that cucumbers can cross-pollinate with other cucumbers as easily as squash, and from about the same distance; but unless you are growing something rare, that may not matter. Whatever crosses do occur will not be as unpredictable as squash crosses can be, since there is much less variability within the species.
 
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