Monday, March 21, 2011

Jarrahdale Pumpkin

The Jarrahdale pumpkins that I grew last summer are still with me, but their numbers are slowly dwindling. I'm down to two now after butchering one up last week. I must say that they've been great keepers but their beautiful gray-green skin has gotten wrinkly-rusty over the winter. 

Jarrahdale Pumpkin

That's a quarter on top of the pumpkin for size comparison. These are chubby, lumpy pumpkins. And they're heavy for their size, too. They've got very thick, dense walls with a comparatively small seed cavity.  

Cut Jarrahdale Pumpkin

But they produce lots of seeds. I've been keeping seeds from the pumpkins with the best flavor and setting the surplus out for the birds. These pumpkins have a great flavor...sweet but with a depth reminiscent of butternut or acorn squash. Jarrahdale pumpkins are actually winter squashes, but the whole taxonomic debate of pumpkin vs. squash isn't something I want to get into today. Regardless, Jarrahdales are delicious and great for pies and bread. I especially like them steamed with butter and either salt and pepper or brown sugar.

I've got plenty of seeds now to grow enough Jarrahdale pumpkins for the whole county, so I'm going to try roasting the seeds from the last two pumpkins. And in about two months it'll be time to start the seeds for the next batch in the garden this summer. How's that for coming around full circle?


Deborah Carl said...

This is crazy but I'm going to jump right in and ask you about growing Jarrahdale pumpkins. I've been searching the net to find out if it's possible to grow them in Texas. Our daughter is getting married Sept 3, 2011 with the white and Jarrahdale pumpkins as her primary decorations, she just loves them. Since we'll need quite a few I thought it would help the evaporating wedding budget if I grew them in our back yard. Would you mind terribly giving me some pointers and possibly where I could get good seeds for the planting? Of course I completely understand if time does not allow you to communicate with me. Just thought I'd give it a shot. Thank you for listening and I hope to hear from you.

Deborah Carl

Tree Dellinger said...

Hi Deborah! I love fall weddings...ours was in early October and we used pumpkins and gourds for the decorations, too. I would think you could grow your own, depending on where you're located in Texas and how much land you have to spare for the pumpkin vines. Pumpkins like a lot of water and sunlight and they need lots of space to sprawl around. For all pumpkins, you can plant 2-3 vines in a hill and you should space the hills about 5 feet apart. I got about 1-2 pumpkins from each Jarrahdale vine, so you're going to need a lot of land if you need lots of pumpkins. I'd first start by asking your local extension agent for information about growing pumpkins in a home garden in your area. You should be able to find your local agent by going to this website and looking for your county: Your agent should be able to give you pointers about insect and disease control, soil preparation, and all that fun stuff. I'm not familiar with Texas planting schedules, but April might not be too early to get the vines started so check on that right away. My seeds come from pumpkins I've grown. Johnny's Selected Seeds is a respected seed company that carries seeds for some wonderful specialty pumpkins, including Jarrahdales: (I should point out that I haven't ordered from Johnny's before and I don't get any compensation from them for recommending their seeds.) Generally you should treat Jarrahdales like any other pumpkin. These sites may be of use to you: I also found this site with more specific information about growing Jarrahdales: But if you haven't done much gardening before, and if you don't have a lot of land or if you live in an area that's too dry, growing the pumpkins yourself may not be worth the effort. You might consider contacting a local pumpkin grower and asking what the price would be for Jarrahdales if you buy them in bulk and can put a deposit down on them now. I found this site listing pumpkin growers in Texas: Please feel to contact me if you more specific questions about Jarrahdales, and let me know how it goes if you decide to grow them yourself!