We went down to my parent's house this past weekend for a Christmas party. When we left, my mom let me take along a couple of very cool winter squashes that were left over from fall decorations. I've wanted to get seeds for these varieties for a couple of years, and now I don't have to buy them. Woot!
Musquee de Provence: 120 days (C. moschata) These gorgeous, big flat pumpkins are shaped like a big wheel of cheese, and are heavily lobed and ribbed. The skin is a beautiful, rich brown color when ripe. The flesh is deep orange, thick and very fine flavored, fruit grow to 20 lbs. each. This is a traditional variety from southern France and makes a great variety for fall markets.
Rouge Vif D'Etampes: (C. maxima) Most beautiful flattened and ribbed large fruit are a gorgeous deep red-orange. A very old French Heirloom, this was the most common pumpkin in the Central Market in Paris back in the 1880’s. The flesh is tasty in pies or baked. This one can also be picked small, like summer squash, and fried. It is a good yielder too.
The descriptions for those squash come from Baker Creek Seed Co. I mention them because they are related to the second part of this post's title. Last week I got the 2012 Baker Creek Seed catalog. The fact that they send this out for free boggles my mind. It's chock full of amazing photographs of all sorts of cool heirloom and open-pollinated fruits, vegetables, and flowers. 61 of the catalog's 192 pages are full page photos! Jere Gettle (who frequently dresses like Gene Autry on acid) runs a great company, and year after year they put out a catalog that is good enough to be a coffee table book. If you've never bought anything from them, give 'em a try this year.