Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Gill's Golden Pippin Squash

For some strange reason, these are not readily available. The only Canadian source of these seeds that I was able to find is Naramata, a company I was not previously aware of. I bought my seeds from Adaptive Seeds, in the U.S. I say some strange reason, because these are fabulous. FABULOUS.

Lots of people advertise them as the best tasting acorn squash available, and having now had a few, I am not inclined to argue. They are small, but in fact just the right size for 2 servings. The flesh is as golden as the shell, dense and a little on the dry side. This gives them a rich, chestnutty texture and the flavour is lovely. The seed cavity is rather small, and the number of seeds therefor not enormous either. They are excellent cleaned up and roasted with a little oil and salt though; worth doing even if there are only a few tablespoons of them.

The started seedlings went out a little on the late side - early June - into a spot where there were still Brussels sprouts going to seed. This definitely delayed them a bit, but once the Brussels sprouts came out they forged ahead and grew very nicely up our trellis, ripening in plenty of time. I think it would be best to trellis these, if you can, but they could be left to grow on the ground. I'd want to keep the bed well weeded and mulched with something like grass clippings, if I did theat. Easier to just trellis them, I would think. Days to maturity should be about 95.

I presume they have the usual ills that squash are heir to; squash bugs, cucumber beetles, vine borers, mildew, etc, but this was a good year for squash in our garden and they had no particular difficulties. Actually, I have seen a number of people comment that they are rather attractive to pests such as voles and slugs... the best tasting varieties often are; what can I say? They are pepo squash, so they will cross with a lot of other garden squash, unfortunately. Too bad; I will just have to eat those tasty little seeds.

These are not a true heirloom vegetable, since they have not been around long enough, but since they were developed by the Gill Brothers Seed Company, of Portland, Oregon, in the mid 20th century I suppose you could say they are a vintage vegetable. In the 1960's, Gill Brothers was bought out by the Joseph Harris Company. They dropped many of the varieties devoloped by Gill Brothers, as they were locally adapted to Oregon, and the Joseph Harris Company dealt nationally. Not a good decision... many of those varieties have been revived and gone on to good success.

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