Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I'm  a person who braises and stews  (food that is). By habit, I've gravitated to an interest in squashes.

Not one to tolerate the angst of growing standard zucchinis in SEQld -- I defer to other varieties.

This time of year the Tromboncino option isn't hugely productive, but with foresight I've planted many more Tatume (aka Calabacita) than I need.

Tatume is a Mexican staple. Grows without problem in this humid weather, fruits profusely and tastes fabulous. 

No major diseases.

There is a longer variety but the round is so nicely contained.

As vines, they do take off, but i find therm better behaved than other climbing squashes as I can grow them along rope lines if I want. Picked young, about the size of a cricket ball, they won't weigh your trellising down as their growth  habit is much like choko.

They do taste a lot better than chokos. As the local pumpkin hub points out:

"Inside, the thick yellow flesh is firm, moist and not stringy with a nice mild taste and medium sweet finish.  Flesh is plentiful." -- Pumpkin Paradise, Bundaberg

If you are of the zucchini persuasion -- I'd definitely  choose Tatume as the accompanying crop to Tomboncino.

Very versatile in the kitchen too as these recipes suggest.

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I might sus out some seed and give it a go. That Doug made me realise that I need to diversify. 

Maybe it was you who just bought Pumpkin Paradise's last supply of Tatume? If not your quest is in trouble. I'm not sure if I have seeds on hand ... but I can check.

I appreciate the squashes because I don't eat rice or much wheat, nor potatoes or yams -- as I'm a low carb (& high fat) person.

They are so versatile these squashes.

As squashes and gourds go my working menu is

  • Tatume
  • Bottle Gourd
  • Choko
  • Hokkaido/Red Kuri pumpkin
  • Serpent Gourd
  • Tromboncino

The Serpent Gourd is the hardest to grow here. I am also growing Seminole pumpkin for the first time.

While these creatures are space greedy, I find they make their own space and what you need to do is intervene occasionally and hack them back. Then make sure you keep browsing the patch to hunt down the fruits while they aren't too big or too old.

if they invade the lawn it's a win win 'cause you won't need to mow it.

Squash leaves, feelers with tendrils are a major item in Central African cuisine.

Since I carry a stick I look forward to taking on my squashes patches if they become too unruly. I'm prepared for that eventuality and train every day.

The Day of the Triffids  is my bible.

Pat Pierce of BLF, put me on to the tatume, a couple of years ago.  Pat said she especially likes them small size for replacement zucchini, when it's hot.  She sent me some seeds in an envelope.  They can climb up a strong trellis.  

She grew plenty of water chestnut then.

Like you Dave, I am normally on Low Carb/High Protein food, the same as you no starchy processed food bread, flour, rice spuds or ground veggies.  At the moment, I am on liquid diet with a few veggies. As long as the weight keeps going down I will be happy.

Here is a description I found on this site from Pat - 

 Comment by pat pierce on February 14, 2016 at 15:23

They are a cucurbita pepo so same species as traditional zucchini can be eaten small like button squash a little larger like a zucchini and at maturity like a pumpkin. The vine puts down roots at nodes and is a vigorous climber. It has outperformed bottle gourd, tromboncino, luffa and snake gourds this year, when I have had little rain and  powdery mildew. As a zucchini its very good as a pumpkin texture like a kent but taste more like a qld blue. I will be growing this every year now - germination is good and the plant doesn't seem to need as much water as the other vine squashes I grow. It goes from setting fruit to full size very quickly and the mature fruit has a very hard skin. The seeds are fleshy so would be good for roasting though I haven't tried yet. If anyone wants seed I can post once I have dried them out.  I started with four seeds all germinated and I have cross pollinated and tested germination. Seems to be two types one is pale green and oval when young the other more round and striped.  Was not bothered by heat with lots of pollen even on the hottest days and  lots of male and female flowers unlike my pumpkins which have had very few female flowers due to excessive heat this year.  Have had good resistance to cucumber fly which is a real pest here blowing female flowers before they set.

It's great if those eating it appreciate it too. I grew squash last year and had to hide in all manners of one pot wonder for the kids to eat it. I love the idea of diversifying but I need to convince my brood to appreciate it beyond the half hearted wow factor. Off to the recipe books...

You're right Dave.  Having trouble finding seed.  

You'll find some  seeds here. Be quick. Like immediately as it's their last one. I haven't any left. I only have chilacayote.

I must make sure to save a good lot of Tatume seeds...

We've been eating Tatume these last few days. Young picked, of course, so I need to let some fruits be.

Got them!!!!  Thanks Dave. 

Pumpkin Paradise is a great local resource. Truly excellent seed porn.

Today's delivery 

Does that mean, Andy, that they sent you Golden Nugget instead of the promised Tatume? If so, it's a wonder I didn't hear the explosion from my place.

That yellow packet is normally used as a seed packet, are you sure there are not inside, he may have given you some freebies.  

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