My Favorite Pumpkins on Parade, Warts and All

My Favorite Pumpkins on Parade, Warts and All
pumpkins on the porch
Harvest staging area: winter squash/pumpkin that store well and taste great.

Here’s a list and some photos of my favorite pumpkins and winter squash. Give them some room, water and ample composted manure and the vines will reward you with the goods to make soup, pies, gratins, and side dishes all winter long.

Galeux d’Eysines pumpkin, a perennial favorite pumpkin of mine, bakes up nicely into one fine pie, and has also been known to bring home an award or two. Beneath its warty complexion, you’ll find a rich flesh perfect for roasting.

This once rare wonder from Down Under is now readily available from several heirloom seed sources. The plant is vigorous and the small to medium size pumpkins many. Another greater roaster, this squash boasts a solid meat interior with a very small seed cavity.

Prolific Buttercup (Burgess) squash is a nice choice for the small garden and those liking a serving size squash. It’s perfect halved and baked, or stuffed with wild rice or savory bread custard.

Queensland Blue pumpkin is a work of art, and lucky for us, its deep lobes of jade hide a sweet orange flesh perfect for pies, soups, roasts or jams. And,it’s a very good keeper. (Taters are Makah Ozettes, a NW heirloom.)

Sweet meat is a sweet choice, and an heirloom pick from the Pacific Northwest. It’s never failed me, grows easily in cool climates, and keeps longer than any other pumpkin I grow. If you wish to make pumpkin pie for Easter dinner, plant Sweet Meat in June.

Another great vine for the small garden, Winter Sunshine gives you more squash for your square foot, producing (at least for me) five to six softball-sized fruit per vine.  In the eye candy department, I know of no deeper-hued squash.

Words of caution: Stick with Connecticut Field and Howden pumpkins for carving jack-o-lanterns, as they tend to be too watery and bland for cooking. And forget carving on the culinary type shown above. Their dense walls would require dental tools and a skill saw to make a respectable ghoulish gourd.



27 thoughts on “My Favorite Pumpkins on Parade, Warts and All”

  • Tom….so gorgeous! Is your blue pumpkin “kin” no pun intended..to blue Hubbard Squash? Love, love Blue Hubbard Squash – so amazing for soups. What do you do with all that squash…freeze, can?? I am so jealous…maybe one year we can do a trade…pie for squash?

  • Nice breakdown…makes me really yearn for more space to have a pumpkin patch again 😉 I can practically taste all those pumpkin goodies you’re going to be making soon 🙂

  • Ah, another squash-o-holic I see! We grew Galeux d’Eysines this year, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they grew under less than ideal conditions (excessive voles mostly). I actually love their warty complexion. I’m glad to read it bakes up well, as we haven’t yet tried one, but can’t wait!

    Your Queensland Blue looks similar to Jarrahdale. We grew Jarrahdale, but it wasn’t very prolific. Maybe we’ll give Queensland a whirl next time to compare.

    Although if we have another cold summer next year, we may have to try Sweet Meat instead. Boston Marrow was the star grower for us this year, but the taste test is still pending. Darn thing has been so prolific though, we may grow it again just because it makes the squash patch look good 😉

    • Boston Marrow, hmmm, looks promising for the Northwest as we too are all about cool summers. Let me know how the taste test comes out. The write-up on Seed Savers is encouraging.

  • I will have to try out some of those varieties next year. The new (for me) squash that I grew this year was blue Hubbard. Haven’t tasted it yet, but it is a pretty squash.

    • Renae, You probably could if you first put composted manure in the bottom (available at home centers and nurseries) and then add the soil. Give it as much sun and plenty of water and a place to grow where no one will step on the vine. The pumpkins won’t be as big, but you should get a couple medium sized ones.

  • Hi Tom,

    I would LOVE to grow more squash this next year. Do you sell/trade/barter any of your seeds? If you are interested, let me know, I’d love some! I don’t know most of your varieties so it would be something new to try for me. If you don’t can you let me know where you got your seeds and a favorite variety for baked (savory) squash and a favorite for soups? Thank you!

  • Hello Tom!

    Just harvested our G d’E . . . got an even dozen big ones despite the late start. They do well here on Anderson Island [a little south of you!] Thanks for publishing your pumpkin pie recipe – gonna try it soon. Tonight we are enjoying the roasted seeds . . . almost the best part of the whole deal![soaked in warm water for a few hours & agitated to get the pulp off, marinated in soy sauce overnight and then coated with olive oil . .. about 2 hours at 25oº and yummm!]

    • Nice rick, I’m going to try your seed roasting recipe. Have you ever used Sweet Soy? It’s a delicious thick soy with a sweet side, and used in Thai cooking. I think it would be great with the roasted seed recipe.

  • Tom – I saw mention of the word ‘jam’ in your post. Have you ever made pumpkin/squash jam before?! I’m very intrigued & am on the hunt for an appropriate recipe…

    What a wonderful harvest you have this year!

    • Hi Michelle, I’ve had pumpkin jam or butter before but have yet to make it this year. I need to get on that, and when I do I’ll post pics and recipe, too. It’s basically like apple butter, chockablock with spices and spread-ably good.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, Tom! We are very fond of Golden Mountain, an inexpensive Thai Soy Sauce. Will try the Sweet Soy, but must say I am partial to a little Tabasco in with the soy sauce, and sometimes onion powder.

    Of course virtually any winter squash/pumpkin seeds work for this, though you gotta love fiber! Naturally, it’s good to stir the seeds every half hour or so, and I usually rub them around in a paper towel afterwards so they aren’t greasy!

    I guess there are pumpkins that produce “hull-less” seeds, but I can’t vouch for them or what kind of pies they might produce!

    Do you let your Galeux D’Eysines roam wherever they want to, or do you try to control their wanderings? This year they crept into our potato patch and it turned out pretty well as the potato vines were just starting to die back. But, man, they were like 25 feet long before they were done.
    Also, I wonder about the frost thing – letting them grow until the first frost, but it was getting kind of wet! And who knows if we even get a frost anyway!

    • Hi Rick, I do let my Galeux roam randomly (or purposefully) around the garden. If they hog too much space or block sunlight for other veggie plants, I just cut the top of the squash leaf off that blocks the light, leaving the actual vine alone. Most squash vines have ground tendrils, that hang on to anything in their path. I don’t believe they do any damage, they just act as stabilizers for the vine. As for the frost thing, nope I pick them in mid October before heavy rains rot, and as we know things rot from the stem down. If you can get the stem to dry out, your squash will last much longer. I don’t believe frost enhances the flavor. This may be true for brassicas like brussel sprouts, but not for squash. A frost will just ruin the squash in my opinion. Good Day Rick! Tom

  • I saw the Galeux d’Eysines for the first time this weekend when we were visiting apple orchards in Wisconsin. I would have bought one had I know it was French ;-O And, had I known they make a good pumpkin pie!

  • WAW!! What a lot of different pumpkins!! Over here in Belgium, we can only find 3 sort of pumpkins, :(!!! I love your big display of them all, they look equally amazing & waw! What treasures!

  • What great looking pumpkins! So far we have only grown the more traditional type of pumpkins. Some day when I get more land, I hope to branch out a bit and grow some different varieties.

    ~Lynn

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