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Algonquin Pumpkin

Posted by Stacey Hubbs on

Hey Seedsters! It's been a while since I've blogged it up…this is going to be about my favourite pumpkin…and quite possibly my favorite vegetable crop to grow right now...

THE ALGONQUIN PUMPKIN!!! 

Behold the gloriousness...

So for those of you who have never met my friend Algonquin Pumpkin…or as i've recently nicknamed "Algo Pump"…there are a few key things to know about him...

This pumpkin is an old heritage type from the Algonquin people. As with most heritage types, you'll find extreme hardiness, genetic elasticity, productivity and adaptability. (we'll talk more about these in a sec…) you'll also find that they are highly disease resistant, and tolerant of almost any climactic and soil conditions. For obvious reasons, these are crops well worth keeping around for the future. They've been holding that intelligence for centuries and it needs to be respected and saved for the present and for the future.

okay, so now lets define a few things from the previous paragraph before we move on...

"Heritage" refers to a representation of the history of a culture in the form of food. In this case, the Algonquin Pumpkin is referred to as a heritage type because it has been grown by that particular tribe for many years…it was (and in some cases still is) a huge part of their cuisine. It is a food that represents a collection of people and their history. It represents all of their hard work as stewards of the land, and we can all help carry that on by continuing to save its seeds for the future. 

"Genetic elasticity" refers to the plants ability within its gene line to perform under almost any circumstance. I tend to think of the Algonquin Pumpkin as a very elastic type because it seems basically invincible in its abilities to perform under stresses of weather (drought, cold, etc.) and to resist diseases, etc. It has that knowledge embedded in its "seed memory" (which i plan to blog about in the near future) to be able to perform under any circumstance because it never forgets how when it has experienced it all over the course of centuries. 

"Disease or mold and mildew resistance" refers to a plants ability to perform under the stress of either disease or molds and mildew. This is an especially important trait when we look at how common it is to lose a cucurbita crop due to mildew smothering the entire plant. Bacterial wilt and various mosaic viruses also plague the cucurbita species, so resistance to these is also extremely valuable. The Algonquin Pumpkin has shown a very strong resistance to molds and mildew and a decent resistance to bacterial wilt. I have not done any testing thus far on its ability to withstand or resist a mosaic virus. 

"Insect resistance" refers to a plants ability to tolerate or even be somewhat of a deterrent for insects that would commonly attack a crop. In the case of the Algonquin Pumpkin, it is highly resistant to cucumber beetles…a good example of its strength in resistance is this : Most other cucurbita (cucumbers, squash, and melons) species in my garden this season got completely decimated by cucumber beetles. the vines of the Algonquin Pumpkin were completely intertwined with the squash varieties that were suffering brutal attacks from the beetles. The beetles would land on their vines on occasion…but they wouldn't really eat them very much…whereas all my other vines were fastly becoming stumps. Cucumber beetles are a common pest all over North America, so having a crop that doesn't seem to be affected is extremely valuable.  

 

So basically the Algonquin Pumpkin is invincible and awesome. Its a great strain for anybody to grow. Oh yeah…did I mention that it also tastes AWESOME?! It's got nice bright, sweet flesh that is amazing for baking. (take a trip down to pie town my friends…you won't be disappointed!!) I mostly tend to just eat this like a squash, with a touch of butter and pepper…because I'm lazy and not a great cook. Unlike many pumpkins, the flesh of this type is much less stringy and fibrous…theres a slight layer of fibers, and then the rest of the flesh is solid like a squash, so it bakes up really nicely. I've eaten a lot of squash and pumpkins in my day and this one is TOP SHELF. It stores quite well too…not that they'll be hanging around for too long when they taste so good...

I grew the Algonquin Pumpkins for the Bauta Family Initative on Canadian Seed Security Grow Outs. And you can find out more about that project in my previous blog titled "Seed Grow-Outs for Seed Security" to find out more. Thanks for reading about my "Algo Pumps" and hopefully one day you might become closer friends with them. 


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