A brief note to update you all on a new variety I am breeding for Hawaii. It is called “Waimea Gold,” and it is growing beautifully here. I have crossed two strong landraces, then inter planted with other c. moschatas that were performing well. I allowed them to again cross, and now I am hand pollinating and selecting traits. This last step is currently going on, and it will be part of the stabilization process.
The result is a market variety that is beginning to show up at some of our farmer’s markets, and the chefs have been serving them up too. I have given seed to two local farmers that are growing them already. They have noted that it just “wants to grow” which is exactly what we need. No fuss. But I will be doing a bit of fussing in the months ahead, as I continue to stabilize the traits.
For those of you interested in plant/squash breeding, here are the traits that I am selecting for: Small size (3-4lb max), smooth, easy to peel, versatility in flavor profile (can be used in a wide variety of dishes,) pest and disease resistance (especially powdery mildew and pickleworm,) and best of all it is a contender to give the imported bland little kabochas a run for their money. Tasty and local…not to mention kinda cute. Here are the current photos! The green ties on the stem mark that the pumpkin blooms were hand pollinated for seed purity. So Waimea….let’s hope we have struck gold!