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Posts Tagged ‘blue hubbard’

Your Small Kitchen Garden Seed Giveaway 2011

This is a paste tomato from which I harvested seeds for the giveaway. Yes, I fermented the seeds to kill bacteria and fungus, so they’re not likely to introduce disease to your garden. I believe this is an Andes tomato. It contains very little moisture and few seeds… it’s mostly meat. It tastes terrific raw, in salads, dehydrated, canned, and sauced. The plants are indeterminate, and I pluck suckers. In a bad growing season a plant yields 15 or more 8- to 12-oz tomatoes; in a good growing season, about 30.

THE FREE SEED OFFER CLOSED ON FEBRUARY 13, 2011 as stated originally at the end of this post. Chances are that I’ll have more seeds to give away for the 2012 growing season. Please check back in January or February of 2012.

FREE SEEDS! Your Small Kitchen Garden blog is celebrating its second annual seed giveaway. You might guess from the blog that I love to grow vegetables and fruit, and that I love to share my love for kitchen gardening with others. By giving away seeds, I hope to encourage other people to grow food and maybe share the wonder of it.

Last year, I gave away packets that contained seeds to grow Neck Pumpkins, Blue Hubbard squash, and Paste Tomatoes (probably of the Andes variety). I’m doing it again! Here are the details:

Small Kitchen Garden Free Seed Sets

The offer I’m about to describe ends on Sunday, February 13, 2011. A “set” of seeds contains three packets—enough to grow one hill of neck pumpkins, one hill of blue hubbard squash, and at least 20 paste tomato plants.

I’m not sure how many sets of seeds there will be as I haven’t yet butchered the blue hubbard squash. I anticipate approximately 45 complete seed sets to give away, but I’ll send some partial sets if I run out of one type of seeds. As things went last year, I ran out of blue hubbard squash seeds first and mailed a few sets that contained just neck pumpkin and paste tomato seeds. This year’s outcome depends on how many people qualify for seed sets.

One sad caveat: Seeds are available only to folks in the United States and Canada. I reviewed Australian import rules last year and realized if I tried to do that for every country, I’d be at it until the fall harvest… so US and Canada only, please.

The thing in this photo that looks like a big butternut squash is a neck pumpkin. It is remarkably like butternut (also shown): very resistant to Squash Vine Borer, orange flesh, tastes like butternut. These things can grow to 20 or 30 lbs, though my largest this year was about 12 pounds.

Earn Squash and Tomatoes from Your Small Kitchen Garden

Technically, I suppose I’m not giving away seeds; there are strings. Here’s what I ask for you to qualify for free seeds:

1. Leave a comment in response to this blog post. In it, tell me something about your preferences for tomatoes or squash. Tell me, perhaps, which you prefer, how you use them, or whether you’ve grown them… and make me laugh.

The blue hubbard squash in this photo is about a quarter the size of my chocolate lab. Thankfully, the dog didn’t fall asleep next to it or she might have awakened as a pod dog. This is a challenging squash to grow; it is very susceptible to Squash Vine Borer; all my blue hubbard plants succumbed without producing viable fruit in 2010. This year I’ll plant outdoors at the end of July… and I may use floating row covers to keep insects from laying eggs on the plants. If you get a few blue hubbard squashes from your plants, they could be more than 20lbs each. The meat of a blue hubbard is a rainbow of colors and has one of the best squash flavors I’ve ever tasted.

2. Complete and submit a form on the Contact Us page. If you want to receive seeds, I’ll need your snail mail address, so enter it into the form. Make sure you use the same email address on the Contact Us form that you use when you write your comment. Also, if you plan to promote your entry (read items 3, 4, and 5 below), please identify in the form the Twitter and Facebook identities you’ll use—and/or identify the URL of the blog on which you’ll post a link.

If you do items 1 and 2, you’ll go to the end of my mailing list to receive seeds. I’ll mail seeds on a first-come-first served basis until I run out of seed sets… but there are some twists. You can move up on the mailing list by doing any or all of the following:

3. If you’re on Twitter, tweet a link to this giveaway that includes the hash tag #skgseeds.

4. If you’re on Facebook, post a link to this giveaway and include the hash tag #skgseeds in the text.

Each day that you Tweet or post on Facebook as explained in items 3 and 4, you’ll move up one place on the mailing list. The most you can move up in a calendar day is two places—one for Tweeting, and one for a Facebook post.

5. Finally, you can get a top spot on my seed giveaway mailing list by posting something about the giveaway—along with a link to this page—on your own blog. What do I mean by “top spot?” I mean I’ll build a mailing list of bloggers who post links on their blogs. I’ll mail seeds to the entire list of bloggers (in the order that they post) before I mail to any other entrants.

At Least Get on the List!

Don’t let all these options throw you. At least leave a comment and post your snail mail address on a Contact Us form (items 1 and 2). Chances are you’ll get at least some paste tomato seeds. Of course, when you get your seeds, I hope you’ll think of me during the growing season and provide an occasional update—perhaps with a photo. I was pleased to hear from a few of last year’s winners. I enjoyed that my friend over at gardenmom29 posted photos of her neck pumpkins… I’m pretty sure the two in the 5th photo in her blog post grew from seeds she got in last year’s giveaway.

The seed giveaway ends on Sunday, February 13. I’ll mail seed packets in the week after that.

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Free Seeds from Your Small Kitchen Garden

FREE SEED OFFER HAS EXPIRED. Please note: The next-to-last paragraph in this post reads: This offer is good through February 5, 2010.

This 20 pound neck pumpkin went into canning jars and so far has produced a delicious pumpkin cake. I can’t promise your neck pumpkins will grow so large, but they’ll have a chance if they are offspring of this bad boy.

FREE SEEDS! Your Small Kitchen Garden blog is giving away a bunch of seeds to encourage kitchen gardeners everywhere, and to spread some fun. Do you remember that Neck Pumpkin and the Blue Hubbard squash I wrote about in November and December? Or, maybe you read about the amazing chili-pepper-shaped paste tomatoes I grew in 2009?

While you’re planning your 2010 kitchen garden, consider this: Until I’ve no more to distribute, I’ll mail a modest set of seeds to each person who leaves a qualifying comment in response to this blog post. A seed set will include six Blue Hubbard squash seeds, six Neck Pumpkin seeds, and 20 or more paste tomato seeds. It’s not a lot of seeds, but it should be enough for you to start your own tradition with these squashes and tomatoes (should you decide to do so).

Someone told me they read that a Blue Hubbard squash was the model for the alien pods in one of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers movies. This Blue Hubbard weighed in at 27 pounds. Leave a qualifying comment for a chance to receive six seeds from this squash.

Qualify for a Seed Set

Here’s how to get your seed set: Leave a comment in response to this blog post telling me you want to receive seeds and explaining (in one or two sentences) which of the three plants you most want to grow and why. While your comments will be judged on the basis of creativity and humorousness, the only criterion for selection is the order in which I receive them.

A neighbor has been growing chili-pepper-shaped sauce tomatoes for decades and these are from that family line. The tomatoes are nearly all-meat, and they taste terrific raw. Plants are indeterminate, and fruits can weigh from eight to 16 ounces.

In other words: first-come, first-served. When I run out of complete sets, I’ll send whatever combination of seeds remains until all the seeds are gone. I expect the Blue Hubbard squash seeds to run out first, then the Neck Pumpkin seeds, and finally the sauce tomato seeds, so if you want all three, leave your comment early. Oh, and please keep it at one seed set per person.

Receiving Your Seed Set

Once you leave a comment to this post, use the Contact Us form to drop me a note that includes your snail mail address. Make sure you include the same email address that you use in your comment; I’ll use email addresses to match each Contact Us form to a comment… so if the addresses don’t match, you might not receive your seeds.

This offer is good through February 5, 2010.

My Australian friend who goes by @GardenBy on Twitter brought to my attention that there may be issues with mailing live seeds to international destinations. I once researched import laws of shipping seeds to Australia and was discouraged by what I read (mostly that there was so much to read and interpret and I could never do an adequate job research such issues on a country-by-country basis). So… I regret that I must amend this giveaway with the restriction that I will ship seeds only to people in the United States of America and Canada. Thanks for understanding.

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Blue Hubbard Squash for a Small Kitchen Garden

Two weekends in a row threw so many distractions at me that my gargantuan neck pumpkin sat neglected, cuddling some butternut squash on the rocking chair in my dining room.

Closing down my small kitchen garden for the coming winter seems to have made me a tad crazy for winter squash. I harvested about 28 butternut squashes from my garden, and then went out and bought a neck pumpkin which you can read about here: Neck Pumpkin: a Home Kitchen Garden Marvel.

My plan was to can the neck pumpkin and save seeds so I could grow my own next year. After two false starts, I still had a whole pumpkin on the rocking chair in my dining room… and I brought another wonder squash home from the Sunday flea market.

Blue Hubbard Wonder Squash

This is the first season I’ve noticed Blue Hubbard squash. It really stood out at the flea market where, for the past six or so weeks, there has been a table holding a dwindling supply of these most impressive gourds. Earlier, the price of a Blue Hubbard was enough that I gave it barely a thought. But this past Sunday, the one remaining pod-person Blue Hubbard listed at just $2.

Nothing like a little overkill when you’re trying to get across a simple truth: This Blue Hubbard squash is enormous! 24 inches long, heavier than a large neck pumpkin, and more volume than, perhaps, 20 of the butternut squash I grew in my small kitchen garden this summer. (Some of my butternut squashes were kind of small this year.)

What little I knew about Blue Hubbard squash at that point is that people say it is excellent for use in pies. Shucks. Neck pumpkin is great in pies, and I already had a 20 pounder at home. But only $2 for this amazing-looking squash… I pretty much had no choice; it was going home with me.

When I set hands around the squash to lift it, I realized that the skin near one end was damp and slimy; the Blue Hubbard had started to spoil. No matter; were I to buy a packet of Blue Hubbard squash seeds, I reasoned, I’d spend two dollars. So, even if I find half of this fruit spoiled, I’d be way ahead in the squash department.

The cashier at the farm stand felt bad about the squash’s spoilage, so she marked it down 25%; I paid only $1.50! It was a challenge to carry along with lemons, limes, and a head of cauliflower, and between the checkout counter and my car, three people asked what I was carrying and what I’d do with it. This is a truly remarkable gourd.

Blue Hubbard Squash Awaits

When I got it home, I weighed the Blue Hubbard squash and was astonished to see that it totals 27 pounds. That’s seven pounds more than the neck pumpkin! Of course, with one end rotting, the Blue Hubbard’s finished weight will be substantially less. For that matter, I’ve never seen one of these things opened, so I’ve no idea how thick the flesh is. Perhaps there’s only an inch of meat… or maybe the meat goes nearly to the center and there’s only a tiny ball of seeds.

Whatever the case, I’m keeping the seeds and planting some next July along with seeds from the neck pumpkin and others from this year’s butternut squash. I’m excited to explore this Blue Hubbard monster, and I’ll share the experience here.

These look like some excellent ways to use winter squash; Blue Hubbard should work just fine:

  • Blue Hubbard Squash Casserole « Local Nourishment – I saw a blue hubbard squash at the pumpkin patch we went to over the weekend. I too was kind of weary of it because it was so large and not sure what to do with it. I love the idea of replacing it for sweet potatoes (especially since I …

  • roasted winter squash soup with croutons – what can be more comforting than a bowl of creamy soup on a cold day? when the weather starts to turn a little chilly, i start making soups and this was my first one this month. roasting the acorn and butternut squash brings out a …

  • Winter Squash | MattBites.com – And if you’ll excuse me for saying this, sometimes they look as if they landed on earth from outer space. A few years ago I made it a point to familiarize myself with these hefty gourds. Until that point they were only gorgeous table decorations to me (trés gay, I know I know), and also made nice ammo during food fights.

  • Organic Baby Food-Steamed Winter Squash – This quick video shows how to make organic baby food from steamed winter squash.

 

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