Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kajari Melon & White Scallop Squash - Rare and Heirloom Plants

Hi

This year I came across a seed catalog from a company called Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and I even paid $8 to buy it. (www.rareseeds.com)

 I know we are in a drought but as a gardening fanatic, it is really hard to resist trying new things so I bought the seeds for 2 plants. (Plus I am an optimist!) I bought seed packets for the Kajari melon and white scallop squash. The melon is rare and the seeds have just been imported from India. The catalog has the story of the years spent trying to find it. While the squash is an American native plant, with records showing it was grown since the 1500's.
Pretty melon!
So I planted the seeds and only 1 of each sprouted.. which led me to make a drastic decision. I knew that I couldn't water them up at the hill house, plus the animals will be after them and they won't stand a chance. I decided to give them to my parents to grow in their yard so that at least I have a shot at getting something from these plants and saving the seeds until the drought is over. Here they are as babies -
Kajari

Squash
Every couple of weeks my mom would go out and take pictures of the plants they have affectionately named Audrey I and Audrey II. These guys grew fast! Here are the plants as of last week, with the squash plant pumping out fruit like you can't believe!
That is 1 plant!


Squash flower

Squash fruit - it is a creamy white squash with a tint of green
And here is the melon now
That is 1 plant!

Baby Melon

Baby Melon
I took the squash home to eat and also some really big ones to get the seeds out of it.. what a mess that is but now I have seeds for next year! I have saved lots of seeds before but wasn't sure about the best way to get these out of the squash. What I ended up doing is cutting it in half but then I cut up a bunch of seeds... 
slicing off the top to get into the seeds

I cut it in half, which wasn't the best thing to do
Then I scooped out the seeds into a strainer.. I started using a spoon but quickly realized that my hands were better at this task because everything was so slippery..
Use your hands - it just works better!

Rinsing them in a strainer
 Then I put them in a plastic container and covered them with water to let them sit a couple of days.

Why I did this is to ferment off the slimy coating they had on them.. now they are out and drying. I have another large squash that I saved for seeds that I am going to let rot down a bit more to see if that helps at all. These seeds weren't very plump which tells me they may need to stay a bit longer in the fruit. It is all an experiment!
And finally, I harvested my garlic and it looks good!

Enough garlic for a year!
Julie