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I've Got a Mystery Veggie

September 8th, 2006 at 08:35 pm

I'm stumped. I've grown many kinds of squash in the past.......and have planted a few varieties this year. However, this one has me totally stumped.

I didn't plant this patch of squash.....the only possibility I can think of is they came up "volunteer" from the previous owners garden or compost pile??

The size and shape are just like pumpkins, but they are mostly all green. Some have a hint of stripes on them, but all still in green shades. Some are now the size of basketballs; even though I haven't watered this patch at all. (so obviously, they thrive with NO care!)

I've cut one open & discovered it's a real thin meat sort of event, with tons of seeds in the center. The meat of the veggie is light green to white. The outside is very thin and I can put my fingernail right into it, so it seems more like a summer squash rather than a hard winter one.

And, no..........I haven't cooked one yet. Not sure how exactly. It would be great if it turned out to be yummy, as we have wheelbarrow loads of them!

Any ideas as to what this is? Or do we have some kind of Ripleys' Believe it or not Squash here?

12 Responses to “I've Got a Mystery Veggie”

  1. yummy64 Says:

    I'd think bake in the oven, poke and nuke or peel and boil in salted water. If you have a wheelbarrow of them worst that will happen is that you waste one or two. I don't know of any other way too cook them than those three. Try the poking and nuking first.

    Some salt, pepper and butter and can't help but be good (I love all kinds of squash)

  2. baselle Says:

    Well, botanically, you can't get a cross between say, a zucchini and a pumpkin, which a little what this mystery squash looks like. However, if you have been growing hybrid parents, the volunteer children do not breed "true", instead you get something that looks like one of the grandparents or great-grandparents - a throwback, in other words.

    If you have an extension office or a master gardener you can talk to, maybe they can give you some clues.

  3. contrary1 Says:

    We do have an extension office very close by..........I'll have to check the hours and see if I can get over there when they have a master gardener available. Budget cuts have forced them into an almost exclusively mail sort of service. No amount of bulletins are going to answer this one for me!

    It does look like a zucchini vs. pumpkin event........... Inside too. Thin meat like a pumpkin but white-ish like a zucchini. Definately odd looking.

    And lush..........and prolific too..........with vines that are up to 18' long.

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    Alternatively, it might be a naturally occuring hybrid. Or it could be some kind of gourd, not meant for eating but grown for ornamentation or personal use. Like the ones you can make into drinking canteens or baskets or birdhouses once they are dried. Gourds tend to be thin meat with a large amount of seeds.

  5. jodi Says:

    Hmmm...you're sure it's not a pumpkin? It looks just like the pumpkins we have growing in the cow pasture. We have a certain spot that we tossed an old pumpkin several years ago...and for a few years now, pumpkins have been growing there. That green one looks just like the one we have there now. I ouldn't be surprised if it started to turn orange soon...

  6. freeme journey Says:

    It looks very similar to what we call a Gem Squash - we cut them in half and boil them until the fleshy part is soft, scoop out all the seeds and then scoop out the contents onto each plate. Usually half a Gem each is the serving size. You can add sugar or butter just for a little extra flavouring. My favourite is to cover the serving with cheese sauce.
    This is one of DD's favourite veggies.

  7. LuxLiving Says:

    SquaPump! Who knows! Let us know what the extension agent says!

  8. contrary1 Says:

    Love the SquaPump name!!! We've just been referring to the entire patch as the mystery squash patch.....

    freeme journey: I could no way finish half of one of these as a serving, they are at least the size of a basketball now & still growing.

    jodi: you may be right about the pumpkin bit.......there are 2 that now have orangish stripes on them.......not orange like a pumpkin yet, but the stripes aren't green any longer.

    I have free time today, but there our extension office isn't open today. Go figure. I will take a few more pictures of the next one I harvest & cut open, just in case I can't make it in to the office while I have these available.

  9. Jacqueline Says:

    I would say you probably have a pumpkin. I have volunteer squash exactly like this as well from my compost. It just isn't ripe yet. Give it time and I'll bet it will turn orange and harden up for you. It still has 2-3 months of growing yet so it is no wonder it is hard to recogize.

  10. lisa Says:

    In my personal experience, vine crops of ALL kinds can cross-pollinate real easily...I have grown "squatermelon", "Cukumpkins", etc. (Apparently these plants really "get around" Wink Hard telling what kind of mutant life-form you have!

  11. nwaz Says:

    I have grown 8 balls before. when I let them go they can get very large

  12. Karen Says:

    I have a similar challenge. there are three kinds of
    squash growing out of last year's compost pile. I
    have no idea what one of them is.

    I put a small bottle of Grey Poupon in the background
    for perspective Smile
    It is dark green with very slightly raised ridges
    running from stem to stern. There are lighter
    coloured - slightly grey - speckles almost forming

    They are currently about the size of a large softball. I left them, thinking that they'd get larger with time. Instead, they just
    turned orange Smile
    When cut open, the inside is mostly seeds with a narrow band of meat - about 3/4" thick.

    The other squash in the pile are butternut and spaghetti.

    Any thoughts on what it could be? I've googled and
    have not found anything that has come closer than the
    image in this blog.

    Thanks Karen

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