[Market-farming] Squash blossoms

Cherry Tree Farms ctfarms at helicon.net
Sun May 1 10:34:46 EDT 2005

Hi Adriana,

        Having sold a few to chefs,  I will throw my 2 cents in to select
questions that weren't just accidents:
1:  Did well with Patty Pan.
4:  Bi-weekly planting
5:  Never tried trellising, don't know anyone who has.
6:  Pests - A rifle works better on ground hogs than row covers (maybe this
is a local thing)
7:  Pick the day before they open, evening seems to work well.
8:  Air cool, slight spray of water to maintain plant moisture the following
morning before shipping
9:  Pack loosely, Clamshells work well with a slightly moistened paper towel
in the bottom.
     Paper sacks work also but present a less professional appearance.
10:  Here Chefs buy by the dozen, regional (west PA) price runs $3.50-$3.75
per dozen.

Hope this helps,

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Adriana" <gutierrez-lagatta at charter.net>
To: <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 3:17 AM
Subject: [Market-farming] Squash blossoms

> I have 3 chefs requesting squash blossoms this summer.  I have come up
> lots of conflicting information when plowing the web, so I suspect there
> no single best way to grow this crop.  I'd like to hear your experience or
> suggestions regarding:
> 1.  Seed variety - Johnny's Selected Seeds recommends Costata Romanesco as
> good variety because of the many male blossoms.  I have seen other
> references to the use of unimproved Mexican pumpkin varieties because they
> have a sturdier blossom.  One market grower recommended growing pattypan
> squash for blossoms.
> 2.  Yield - what yield can I expect per plant per week?
> 3.  Plant spacing -  typical recommendations call for multiple seeds in
> "hills".    I noticed the Costata Romanesco package recommends linear
> planting 9-12" apart which sounds tight given the typical size of zucchini
> plants.
> 4.  Timing  - do you recommend bi-weekly or monthly sowing to provide
> continuous harvest throughout the season?
> 5.  Trellising - is there any benefit to some sort of trellising.  I know
> zucchinis are bush types but I seem to recall reading about growing summer
> squashes on slightly raised wire grids.
> 6.  Pests - are row covers advisable
> 7. Harvest - do you harvest the flowers when they are fully opened or at
> bud stage.  How frequently should you harvest?  Time of day?
> 8. Storage - is it best to air cool the blossoms or can they be hydro
> cooled.
> 9.  Packing - what is the best way to pack them.
> 10.  Pricing -  my search comes up with pricing ranging from 3/$1.00 to
> apiece...
> Thanks,
> Adriana Gutierrez

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