Sunday, April 8, 2012

Small Sugar Pumpkin

We grow small sugar pumpkin variety for the first time last spring. This pumpkin variety is suitable for small garden. We direct-sowed the seed last August and harvested the first fruit in December. It took less than 4 months to harvest the first pumpkin. This pumpkin variety fruit in diameter average size is about 20cm. The photo shows female flower with a small fruit attached at the back of the bright yellow flower. The pumpkin female flower really beckons or attracts the bees with its big bright yellow petal which is hard to miss when bees flying pass to help her pollinate with its mate. Well, we usually try manually by hand to pollinate the female pumpkin earlier than bees so it won't cross pollinate with different variety of pumpkin/squash. But it was easier this time around to avoid cross-pollination because it was the only cucurbit plant that was already producing flowers. To avoid confusion, the pumpkin veins or leaves is similar with other pumpkin, in the photo  leaves with red veins are beetroot leaves. Moreover, beside the yellow flower you can see beans dangling. You can inter-plant beans with pumpkin.

Because December we don't have many rainy day here so we can be lucky to avoid powdery mildew. I always find that when the pumpkin fruit is getting bigger its better when there is not much rain or humidity is low so the plant don't get disease easily.
Pumpkin growing bigger still immature with green skin.

Make sure to leave a long stalk on the ripe pumpkin when harvesting.
So it will store well for several months.
Cure the pumpkin before storing it on a dry place.
We usually put it beside a sunny window for several days or weeks. 
A ripen small sugar pumpkin.

The pumpkin keep well until we decided to enjoy it after harvesting it for more than 4 months.
If it is cure and store well, perhaps it can stay good for more than 6 months after harvest.

Any ideas on how to enjoy this pumpkin?
I am a bit lazy in the kitchen these days, just slice and roast them.
What pumpkin variety are you growing this year?
We are waiting for our spagetthi squash fruit to ripe this month. 


Sunray Gardens said...

Have not heard of sugar pumpkin. Nice that they can store for such a long time though.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Sue Garrett said...

If you cut so a piece of vine stem is attached to the fruit stalk forming a T shape then it is suppose to store even better as moisture doesn't collect in the top of the stalk.

Daphne Gould said...

I can't help but think of pumpkin pie when I harvest pumpkins. That being said I don't make it often now that the kids are out of the house. Usually I make Pumpkin Casserole (1 egg, 1c pumpkin puree, 1/2c milk, 2T maple syrup, 1/2t vanilla, 2T melted butter 1/4t cinnamon 1/4c ww flour, 1/2t baking powder, 1/8t salt, mix together and cook for an hour at 350F - sorry all English measurements). It has a lot of the characteristics of pumpkin pie, but isn't as bad for you.

Bom said...

If the sugar pumpkin is as sweet as it sounds, roasted with salted butter, the way you do it sounds very good.

Jody said...

Great looking pumpkins. Belle stored last year's harvest. She cut them in half, baked them face down, pureed them and froze them future use.

rainfield61 said...

I wonder whether you did fail to grow anything with your magical hands.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful pumpkin! Easiest way for me to cook pumpkins is to just use them (with meat) to boil soups.

Malar said...

I never tated a sugar pumkin before. Anyway I don't have luck with pumpkin..... Teh fruits grow a bout strawberries size and drop down eventually....sigh....

Mark Willis said...

I vote for pumpkin and tomato soup, made with home-made chicken stock.

Unknown said...

That pumpkin looks really good. Reminds me of Halloween.

cookingvarieties said...

hi diana, it so nice to see the beautifully captured images of your pumpkin growing in your garden. i used to have bloggers doing guest post on winter squash.. most of them baked.

One of them, after baking whole fruit, later cut into half and fork out the flesh using a fork to produce long "spaghetti strands look" but our asian foodies made pumpkin cake,serawa etc. was fun cos pumpkin has many health benefits.
have a nice day

KL said...

Bengalis (a kind of culture in India) has lots of dishes with pumpkins. If you want something quick and tasteful, then you can make this: chop off the pumpkins in small pieces. In a pat, put minced garlic, chili-paste (if you like), onion; saute; put the pumpkin, and saute more; put some prawns/shrimps (or can be anything else - fish, meat, but goes better with prawn/shrimp); some salt, sugar and turmeric powder; little bit of water; cook. Serve with hot rice.

shaz said...

Very cute punpkins. My mum likes to eat pumpkin stir-fried with dried shrimp as KL suggested above. I like roasting it and making salads with pine nuts and fetta and baby spinach (drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil):) We just found ourselves a new place to live and it has a balcony. Can't wait to move in and try to start planting green things again!

Sean L said...

Such an adorable pumpkin. Kalau saya mesti sayang nak makan, biar buat display lama-lama kat rumah. If it is sweet, that is the best way to eat it...crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. Yummy!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

oh, i would like to use this pumpkin to make some nice and soft bread..

kumittyi said...

Your pumpkin is so lovely.I do want to try grow a small suger pummpkin,too.I wonder if it is sweet.
I have harvested some pumpkins in my garden before,but those are ones which I sowed the seeds of a pumpkin I bought as vegetables at a supermarket and grew them.
incidentally,to my sorrow,I got only TWO.
Next time,I'd like to care about it's variety and grow it.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Cher~I wanted to keep the pumpkin much longer but I was too curious what inside look like.

Sue~Thanks for the precious tip. Will sure to remember to do that with our next harvest.

Daphne~Thanks for sharing this recipe with me! Sounds really good and nice to enjoy during autumn/winter cool season.

Bom~I must try roasting the pumpkin with salted butter.

Jody~You must have a lot of space for frozen goodies. I have to do this when I give birth to our new family member.

Rainfield61~Oh...I failed many times than success. Lots of trial and error to gain more experience in the world of gardening.

Stephanie~Sounds good boil with meat in soup.

Malar~I read about this problem before about fruit dropping but can't remember the cause. Was it some nutrient elements not sufficient in the soil something like that.Try growing them in different spot and type of soil. Small pumpkin can also be grown in pots.

Mark~Never tasted pumpkin and tomato soup but the combination sounds interesting.

Sri Ranjani~A small version of the holloween pumpkin.

Cookingvarieties~I have this one recipe for small pumpkin that use to stuff mince meet and other ingredients. Buat kuih tradisional pun syok juga.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

KL~The description makes me drool. I must try this sounds something that will make me have second serving. Thanks.

Shaz~Thats great news! Hope to see your green balcony in the future. Enjoy jalan-jalan cari makan.

Sean L~Dah lama display dalam rumah, lebih 4 bulan tu.

Sonia~I would gladly part with this pumpkin and give it to you, if you will also give me a piece of that nice and soft bread.

Kumittyi~When we just started gardening, we grew pumpkin from supermarket as well. But now we like to try growing food that is not available at the market.

lena said...

there are so many varieties of pumpkin and squash that i sometimes have difficulty identifying them. Good to know that they can be stored for that long.