Posts tagged ‘cucurbita’


Squash are abundant producers and this time of year it can be difficult to keep up with all the harvesting.

July 28, 2012 at 6:00 am 1 comment


Sometimes, despite a gardener’s best efforts, the ideal harvest window on a particular vegetable or fruit is missed.  This can lead to oversized fruit, overripe fruit, damage from pests, or even theft.  In some cases the veggie can be saved for seeds but sometimes it is just a loss.  In the case of squash you can save the seeds, but because of the nature of hybrid seeds, and the genetics of the cucurbita genus, there is no guarantee you will get the same type of squash next year.  The cabbage will be edible, but less tender and sweet than if it were small.  The corianed/cilantro seeds can be collected and used for planting or as a spice.

July 27, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Cucurbita, how do I love thee

Cucurbita is a genus of plant that includes squash, melons, and cucumbers.  They are dedicated growers, eager to please their gardener with a panoply of color, flavors, textures, and shapes.  They can be found in all parcels throughout the garden.

July 17, 2012 at 6:00 am 2 comments

Pepino – Cucumber

A favorite crop of many gardeners is the cucmber, known in spanish as “pepino.”  Related to squash and melons, cucumbers are a member of the genus “cucurbita.”

July 3, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Calabaza Calabaza Calabaza!

Squash, zucchini, pumpkin, whatever you call them in english, they’re all called calabaza in spanish.  In the beach flats garden, the calabaza is king in the late spring and early summer.  They can produce fruit until late fall in Santa Cruz, but when the first fruit appears in April – May, gardeners start counting the days until the calabazas are ready.

May 29, 2012 at 10:19 am 1 comment

Staple Crops

The Beach flats, garden is a garden of sustenance, and our staple crops are corn, beans, and squash.  There are as many ways to plant these crops as there are gardeners, but many jardineros de la playa choose to intercrop their corn and beans.  This is an ancient practice that involves planting the corn and beans together, staggered in both time and space so that each plant gets what it needs from the other (with the help of their loving gardener).  The beans are a prolific vine that will climb anything they can get their tendrils on; while the corn is a towering giant that needs humans to survive.  The beans climb up the corn in their quest for the sun, providing vital nutrients to the soil that benefits both plants.  In some cases, gardeners plant squash at the base to provide shade which minimizes weed growth, and evaporation.  Corn beans and squash are known as the three sisters; between the three sisters there exists a symbiotic relationship that requires the guidance of loving caretaker.  To intercrop your corn and beans you must plant the corn 1 to 2 months ahead of the beans.  This gives the corn a head start that it needs to avoid strangulation by the overzealous beans.  When your corn is knee high, plant the beans between the corn, in the same row.  Some of the gardeners just use the corn for support; planting the corn and beans at the same time will give you a good harvest of beans, but not corn.  This is a good way to provide support for your beans without building a structure.


May 2, 2012 at 6:00 am 3 comments

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