Austrian Oilseed Pumpkins - harvest time

These have been a fair success this year, last year we couldn't get them to germinate but this year we had a couple of healthy plants that produced 11 usable pumpkins and a couple of duds.

The duds picked up some kind of rot that rapidly took over the fruit and the results were not worth harvesting, flat, anemic seeds and collapsing flesh. They started like this and I still haven't figured out what the problem, or the solution is, comments welcome.
The successes however, have been ripening in the carport roof for about a month now and are a beautiful shade of, well, pumpkin. BTW, the suggestionf rom Kay baxter is to be careful of rain on well-developed fruit, there's a chance that the flush of water (and we had plenty of that at a critical time) encourages the seeds to sprout inside the fruit.

Fortunately, they ripen beautifully in a coolish, dry place like my carport.I wiped them down first with bleach to kill any moulds then with wormwood to make the unpalatable to rats and mice.


Today I opened a couple and extracted some nice fat seeds and learned something else; size ISN'T everything.The one on the left was about 5KG and the one on the left is about 4.5KG, its also rounder, if that makes any difference.

But the difference in product is siginifcant. The big one produced 50gm of seeds while the smaller one produced 160gm.

Now looking for recipes for the flesh, some (Kings seeds) say it is good to eat, others (Kay Baxter) that it is great for the pigs. Any ideas?

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Comment by Earl Mardle on February 12, 2011 at 10:37pm

Thanks Virgil. I have taken all mine off early because of the warning about too much rain. The ones that have ripened off the vine are producing good seeds and we made a couple into soup today, roasted first with garlic, onion and herbs then zinged witb harissa and it is reasonable so we might try some more.

I checked my second flush and the fruit is setting but then dying off on the vine which itself still looks very healthy. I'll be interested to hear if you get any actual fruit ripened from the second flush, I've seen a report which says that it does happen.

Comment by Virgil Evetts on February 12, 2011 at 1:58pm

I noticed a similar rot develping in two of my fruit yestrday, so opened them up. Despite only just showing signs of colourng up,  the seeds inside were all plump and fully formed. I wonder if the yellow flesh becomes orange if allowed to fully ripen on the plant until the the stalk shrivles, as with true pumpkins? They almost appear like a spaghetti squash inside...

Earl, my vines have set a few more fruit too. Quite unusual to get a second flush from squash/pumpkins, although I've noticed my trombonchini are doing it too.

Comment by Earl Mardle on February 11, 2011 at 2:27pm

Hi Jacee.

I agree about the flesh but i'm too tight just to throw it out so I have roasted the pieces with olive oil, sage, rosemary, garlic and onion and let it caramelise pretty well to drive off the moisture. Its OK but not great and i'll wait till the buttercups come in for REAL pumkin and use the oilseed flesh as filler for pasta sauces, soups and anything with a truckload of chilli.


Comment by jacee on February 11, 2011 at 1:38pm
ooh those seeds are so yummy we grew them last year, the flesh is particularly insipid and we did give them to our pigs last year. I didnt grow them this year because  to harvest only the seeds seemed kinda wasteful.  and boohoo for us our pigs where too mischievous to keep. our garden is full of weird veggie deaths this year i think mostly due to the weather. makes you appreciate how much effort goes into a bag of pumpkin seeds, i treat them with lots more respect now!
Comment by Earl Mardle on February 10, 2011 at 10:37am

Hi Virgil

I harvested them as soon as they started to show colour and would have left them longer but for the downpours. The others have all done pretty well as you see from the other post. The seeds in the good ones have fully matured off the vine so I'll probably adopt that method and give the soil a rest.

I'm making bread this afternoon so I had already thought to roast them and I can always make a nice spicy soup as long as they are bland rather than bitter.

12 is good. You must tell me how much you get from them. If I can get 150gm each plus a feed or two I'll be happy.

Actually, one of the plants that we ahve already harvested  and cut right back has got a new lease on life and set 2 more fruit. It HAD set 3 but something gnawed it when it got to about softball size.


Comment by Virgil Evetts on February 10, 2011 at 10:05am

Im growing these too. Mine are still on the vine and just starting to colour up- no sign of rot yet. Were your fruit completly green when you harvested?

I would just try roasting some of the flesh to get an idea of how useable it is. Ive heard that it can be quite gritty but would be keen to hear otherwise as I have about 12 of the things out back! 


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