Sunday, August 31, 2008

Potimarron

First there was a flower.

P1010386Looks like an ordinary squash flower.

P1010386del

But squash does not grow in our garden. We've tried and tried, winter and summer squash. The little plants get powdery mildew, shrivel up and die shortly after we transplant them. 

I swore I'd never grow squash ever again--or at least not while I lived here in the PNW. Then Wing Nut brought home four little plants that looked an awful lot like squash plants. "They have a French name," she said. So of course they were allowed into the garden. After a visit with my friend google.fr I learned that this particular type of squash has been grown in the Far East since ancient times, in China and in particular on Japan's second largest island, Hokkaidō. But they are much beloved in French cuisine.

So we planted them. And I tried not to get my hopes up. And within days of planting them the first little plant began to shrivel up. And then it was dead. it didn't even last long enough to get powdery mildew!

Today as I was out in the garden, in my shorts, sandals, socks and Viking rain gear (see previous post), I saw a little round something hiding among the squash leaves. It looked suspiciously like... but it couldn't possible be...

P1010396revYes it is! it's a squash! A very special little squash. It's a POTIMARON!!! And if we're very very lucky it will grow up to look like this. Right now it's teeny tiny. But it's healthy and growing. P1010395

Their name comes from the French potiron (squash) and marron (chestnut). This cucurbita has a very unique nutty flavor. This is the squash to feed to people who claim they hate squash. It can be stored for up to twelve months. The longer it is stored, the higher its sugar and vitamin content. It can be used in tarts, tortes, soufflés, gnochis, flans, breads and of course soups. Here in the US they are known as Hokkaido squash. Other names include Chestnut pumpkin, Kuri pumpkin and red-skinned Kabocha. In the UK The Potimarron Project has pledged itself to work towards ending world hunger. There is a Pumpkins For The People Revolution going on! Anyone out there participating in the revolution?

--Curmudgeon

17 comments:

kd said...

Bonne chance et bon appetit!

/krys

kd said...

Bonne chance et bon appetit!

/krys

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

This little squash is going to need lots and lots of good luck KD! We've been wet and cool the last two weeks. Our nighttime temps are dropping lower and lower.

Daphne said...

Boy I need that squash if it doesn't get powdery mildew. Mine always do. Right now it is a race between the mildew or whether the pumpkin ripens.

J'espère que vous recevez votre potimaron.

garden girl said...

Mmmm. . . those are awesome squash - no contest, the best I've ever tasted. I didn't even know what kind they were when I tried it for the first time, but after trying some I HAD to google them and find out.

I hope yours matures, and that you get a couple more. Mmmm. . .

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

Hi Daphne. A race against time and the elements is right. We're keeping our fingers crossed!

Thanks Garden Girl! We're up to 2 little fruits right now. And today 2 more flowers opened.

ourfriendben said...

Pumpkins for the People! All right!!! But, er. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds offers 'Red Kuri' ('Hokkaido'), which looks exactly like the photo in your link, AND 'Potimarron'. What's the deal? Wonder if anyone's grown them both? Maybe it's time to e-mail Baker Creek's owner, Jere Gettle, and see what's up with that...

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

Mystère et boule de gomme OFB! I love a good mystery. I think i will email BCHS and see what they say.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Sounds yummy. Good luck. Pumpkins for the people sounds like my kind of thing.

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

Hey Aunt Debbi! We're always looking for a good revolution to get behind!

Nancy J. Bond said...

Speaking as one who loves squash, I'm so glad you found one that apparently loves your garden. :) Kudos to you...and enjoy!

Shibaguyz said...

Still not a squash to be found in our potager Jungle. We have a few GREAT looking vines but not a thing on them but pretty flowers.

Best of luck to your petite potimarron!

gintoino said...

I wish you potimarron gets to grow in your garden. They are beautiful (as all winter squashes). Mine also got powdery mildew, but only after the squashes were grown, so it didn't afect the end result that much

Nicole said...

That squash and blossom is now at the perfect stage to stuff with chevre and herbs and bake!

Karen said...

Oh la la, potimarron! I haven't tasted one yet (not a squash lover, so maybe I should try it as you said), but have admired them at the South 47 Farm (organic farm/pumpkin patch in Redmond, WA). Best of luck and sunny days like today might help, eh?
Thanks for the blog visit and great comments!
- Karen
http://greenwalks.wordpress.com

Libbys Blog said...

Not a big 'squash'lover but grew some 'Gem Squash' for hubby last year as he was raised on them in Rhodesia. I must admit they where very tasty so planted extra this year, although the weather has not been good to us!!

Self Sagacity said...

I have the same problem with the beechnut squash, but I am able to harvest some squash for dinner. :-)