Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dreaming in Reverse

This was an incredibly busy week indeed!  After working my weekend at the great Mammoth Cave, my Mom, Dad and Nephew came down for ouor three days off.  We had such a great time!  We went on several long hikes, talked a great deal about future plans, and ate a lot of good food.

I decided that, what with all those hungry mouths to feed, that it was high time to cut into the Great Grey Pumpkin.  This work of natural art was sort of an accidental in my garden last year.  You see, around Thanksgiving 2011 I bought a pretty, little, orange winter squash at the grocery store.  I liked it so much that I saved its seeds to plant in our 2012 garden.  The strangest thing happened with those squash plants.  Now I knew that the parent squash was probably a hybrid, so I did not expect the seeds to produce fruits that looked like the original squash, but I declare, the two or three vines that grew from those seeds produced about a dozen different varietals!!!  And the most beautiful of them all was the Great Grey Pumpkin.

This squash had a firm skin like a moschata.  Its coloration ranged from a pale greeny grey to a rich red orange.  It was so pretty I considered it to be a valuable decorative element in my living room!  And I knew, because I had a similar but smaller squash, that the flesh would be a deep rich orange with a full bodied, smooth flavor.  I was not disappointed.  Althouogh it almost broke my heart to do it I had Joe cut that basbyy open and it yeilded about a gallon of delicious nutritious flesh.

Now comes the dream.  Just as I saved the seed from the parent squash I am saving the seed from the Great Grey.  Its a very simple process.  Just separate the seeds from the flesh, put them in a jar of water and let them sit for a few days, shaking them once in a while. 

Then drain them and dry them on a paper towel.. This process gets rid of a coating on the seeds that can prevent them from growing.

So, what am I hoping for from these seeds?  Well, because the seeds come from a squash of undetermined parentage there is not the same guarantee as if they had come from an heirloom variety.  Also factored in, is the sad fact that I did not hand pollinate, so these seeds could have genetic material from any of a number of other squashes.  But, regardless of these risky factors, I still maintain the hope, the dream if you will of recreating and perpetuating the glory of the Great Grey Pumpkin!!

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