Members of the Cucurbitaceae are identified by tendril-bearing vines with alternate leaves. Plants produce male and female flowers and are insect pollinated. Varieties are easily kept separate though hand-pollination, however we let our open pollinate since different species are incompatible. If self pollinating use siblings as parents to keep genetic diversity. Try to keep at least twenty plants if open pollinating.
Harvested fruits should be stored for an additional month at least. This post-harvest ripening period allows the seed to finish growth increasing seedling vigor. Seeds can then be removed, rinsed and fermented. Some cucurbits will have higher germination rates and less disease when fermented.
Cuccumber Cucumis sativus- Green pickler, holds up very well. Not frost tolerant.
Hulless pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) Medium sized fruits average 5-8 lbs. Plants have semi-bush habit and yield 1-2 fruits per plant. Seeds are unlike normal Curcubita seeds in that they do not have a seed coat giving them a distinct green color. The seeds can be roasted or pressed for oil but the flesh of the pumpkin is quite fibrous and practically inedible. Some issues with hulless seed are viability, which can be significantly reduced depending on handling. Squashes mature during the storage period, however, the hulless types do not store as well as other storage types and can rot from the inside out. We only select the best each year for replanting.
Kabocha winter squash (Cucurbita maxima)- This is the squash for eating, although the seeds are not too bad roasted too. Sweetens in storage.