Pumpkin harvest

I usually wait until after the first heavy frost of the fall to harvest all the pumpkins and the rest of the sensitive crops. We haven’t had it yet, and I’m becoming impatient, so I’ve started gradually taking them in.

Our favorite pumpkin is the japanese hokkari (often called hokkaido pumpkin). I get seeds from japanese friends that travel back and forth between Sweden and Japan. I also have some seeds from China (a pumpkin named lixiu I believe) via internet that are indistinguishable from the japanese ones. These are F1 hybrids so I can’t save my own seeds. I try to avoid hybrids but these have a far superior flavour to anything similar.

Also seen in this picture is uchiki kuri, turban, kroshka, table king acorn, sweet meat and an unnamed small white pumpkin that has a bland taste like a potato. I grow jacko-lantern pumpkins too but they tend to not ripen to a nice orange color until later.

Then there are the nonhybrid offspring from the hokkari that grow on the compost with an inferior flavour. The flavour deteriorates from year to year if I save the seeds.

The pumpkins grew and ripened very well this year. The hokkari were half the usual size and I’m not sure why. It could be because I don’t fertilize much, but it could also have been the weather which was cool, wet and cloudy. They certainly could have used more sunshine. Anyway, the smaller size is very much appreciated by all because they take up much less space in storage. And when cooking there are not as many pieces left that need be to put in the refrigerator.