Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Thanksgiving Harvest

Greek Sweet Red Winter Squash

I've trialed and re-trialed many varieties of winter squash and pumpkins in my quest to find a variety that was sweet and flavorful when grown in the challenging Kihei climate. Most seeds produced picture perfect squash that were bland and flavorless.

Greek Sweet Red and Sweet Kikuza were the tasty super stars of my 2010 spring and summer gardens. Greek Sweet really is sweet and has a classic pumpkin flavor. The vines grow up to 40 feet - about 10 feet longer than Muscade de Provence or Marina di Chioggia. They produce an abundance of flowers and more fruit per vine than any variety of squash or pumpkin I've grown so far. From 3 plants, I harvested 11 squash ranging from 4 to 8 lbs. I let them turn color on the vine and they didn't need additional time in storage to develop a sweet flavor.

I harvested the Greek Sweets over the weekend - they were the last and best harvest from my summer garden. Finally a winter squash that's tasty enough to make pumpkin pie.

Seeds are available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Happy Thanksgiving! 


  1. Forty foot vines, yikes! They must be taking over ; ) It's such a great thing you do Jane, trialing so many different varieties and reporting on their performance. You are certainly on my list of things to be thankful for this year.

  2. Just saw your new blog, nice work there Jane! Wondered why you've been so quiet lately.

  3. Hi Julie! 40 feet is way long for winter squash! Although I cut all the squash off the other day I'm letting 1 plant continue to grow - maybe it will hit 50 feet before it's finished!

    Mahalo for your kind comments! I decided to focus this blog more on growing information - sort of a free, updatable ebook on gardening in Kihei. On the other blog I'll review my seed trials and if I can learn how to take appetizing photos of food (LOL!) I'll share some of the recipes that showcase my harvests.

  4. Hi! so nice to see a post right in time for the holidays! Hope you have been doing well. The squash look great this is the first year I have tried winter squash and just grew spaghetti squash which on one plant I got 4 squash (1 jumbo, 2 large, and 1 small)... I think I might have to try this one next season and I always have loved bakers creek (can't wait for december and their new catalog) happy thanksgiving : )

    -Brittany - www.organic-gardening-adventures.blogspot.com

  5. Wow those vines are long. They could really take over a garden. They sound delicious though.

  6. Hi organic-momma! That's a good yield on your spaghetti squash - I haven't tried growing that one yet. I was amazed how productive the Greek Sweet Red was but it needs lots of room. I made pumpkin pies with one yesterday and they turned out really good.

    Hi Daphne! I planted them in a few different places but they're hard to control once they start growing. The best place was along my back perimeter wall which is about 80 feet long - that's where I'll plant them again next spring.