[permaculture] Winter squash cross-pollinated seeds for 2010 project

SArjuna at aol.com SArjuna at aol.com
Fri Nov 20 16:32:01 EST 2009

Dear winter squash lovers,

What a strange growing year it has been.   After a cold, wet, late spring 
we had an unusually cool summer here in Wisconsin, U.S.A., but since killing 
frost in September (Was it the 3rd week?   I can't find where I wrote it 
down.) we have had nights above freezing and are still having days in the 40s, 
even 50s, so many things are still green.

I grew 24 varrieties of winter squash this year and did hand-pollinated 
crosses with most of them for my crossbreeding project.    However, it turned 
out that where I planted them in at the community garden was an area with a 
soil problem.   Even the weeds there did not grow as well as elsewhere.    
Many of the crosses I did bore no fruit, and the fruits I did get were mostly 
small.    This was disappointing, but the good news is that plants from the 
seeds I did get should survive hard times in the future.

Please let me know which of the crosses in the list below you are 
interested in growing out next year. You'll need to hand-pollinate each plant, using 
its own male/female flowers, and keep records regarding how each plant 
grows, how many fruits it produces in what kind of growing conditions, the 
shape/size/color/taste/texture of its fruit and also how well they keep.   (Don't 
eat 'em all right away!)     Using that info. from everyone who grew out 
that particular seed, we'll decide which plants' seeds to grow out the next 
year.    In 4-5 years, we could have some great new varieties of squash to 
offer fellow gardeners.    (And depending on where the participants live, we can 
develop regional varieties of them, too!   This will be more and more 
important as climate changes.)

I had been going to ask folks to grow a minimum number of plants, but that 
would mean that only people with quite a bit of space could take part in the 
project.   You can take part by growing just one plant, if you want to.     
Who knows which seeds will produce the most wonderful squash?   

If you have not done hand cross pollinating before, I highly recommend 
Carol Deppe's book, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties, and Suzanne Ashworth's 
book Seed To Seed, which give you clear, step-by-step instructions.   It's 
not at all difficult, but it does involve working with the plants morning and 
evening during the breeding season and keeping good records.

Please pass this information on to anyone else who may be interested in the 

Shivani Arjuna
Sarjuna at aol.com

Winter Squash seed availalble for 2010

First-mentioned variety of each cross is the female parent.

Baby Hubbard / Galeaux                            Both Cucurbita maxima

Burgess Buttercup / Galeaux                     Both Cucurbita maxima
Burgess Buttercup   / Jarrahdale                Both Cucurbita maxima
Burgess Buttercup / Nutty Delica              Both C. maxima
Burgess Buttercup / Sibley                     Both C. maxima          
Burgess Buttercup / sibling
Fedco Buttercup / Galeaux                     Both C. maxima
Livingston Buttercup / Burpee Buttercup
Livingston Buttercup / Galeaux
Livingston Buttercup / Upper Ground Sweet Potato   C. maxima / C. moschata

Serendipitous Volunteer Buttercup:    This plant came up where I'd had 
buttercup last year.   Though it came up late, it quickly grew to huge size and 
produced the largest, loveliest buttercup squash I've ever seen, 7 _ inches 
wide.    One leaf measured 14X12 inches.   

Delicata / Godiva                              Both C. pepo     
Delicata / Kamo Kamo                         Both C. pepo

Godiva / Delicata                              Both C. pepo
Godiva / self

Queensland Blue / Burgess Buttercup          Both C. maxima

Sibley / Sweet Mama                         Both C. maxima

Sweet Mama / self
Sweet Mama / Sibley
Sweet Mama / Sweet Meat                    Both C. maxima

Sweet Meat / Burgess Buttercup               Both C. maxima

Zeppelin / Lady Godiva                         Both C. pepo     
Zeppelin / Kamo Kamo                         Both C. pepo
Zeppelin / self
Zepppelin / Sibley                              C. pepo / C. maxima
Zeppelin / Squisito                              Both C. pepo


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