Friday, February 13, 2009

Seed Savers Yearbook

I had a real treat land in my mailbox yesterday. It was the Seed Savers Yearbook. This year it is a collection of over 13,000 varieties of open pollinated seeds from over 500 members of the SSE. There are lots of old and otherwise hard to find seeds. I've already ordered my seed for the year but some of the squash really caught my eye, which is strange since they have not one photo in the book.

I have trouble with the squash vine borer every year. This year I'm growing C. moschata "Neck Pumpkin" to foil the nasty pests since moschatas are supposedly resistant to the vine borer. It seemed the best of the moschatas that were available when I was purchasing seeds. The SSE Yearbook however has pages of moschatas.

Creek Candyroaster Pumpkin caught my eye, but it had an L.Q. tag. L. Q. stands for limited quantity, which means I can't get it. Only people who list seeds in the yearbook can get L.Q. seeds. Ah well there are tons of others. Then I saw "Magdalena Big Cheese". That looked perfect. One person wrote "never found a vine borer in the vines" and "easiest and best pie pumpkin I have found". Jackpot. Another said "huge plants will spread all over everything". It sounds just right for my three sister's plot. With a little more research on the web, I found it is perfect for a three sister's plot. It is a very old squash grown by Native Americans. It is not a perfectly pretty squash, but irregular and funny looking.

One thing that is fun to look at in the yearbook is where the seeds come from. There are five people that are offering the seed of Magdalena. You can follow the tree down and find that they all come originally from Native Seeds/SEARCH, a nonprofit who has a seed bank for old southwestern seed.


  1. My copy came Tuesday, and I'm just coming up for air today! All my selections will be posted in my blog sometime soon. It is fascinating to see where the seeds come from, and it helps me to decide what to request. I try to get seeds for varieties that are no longer commercially available.

  2. Sounds like an interesting squash. I looked it up but came up with 3 different looking photo of it.

    I was going to grow "Long Island Cheese" which is a Cucurbita moschata. I then read that it does not produce many squash so I moved on. It was a beautiful looking squash though.

  3. I grew Long Island Cheese here in Tasmania last year and got quite a few nice sized squash from two vines. I saved seeds but I suspect it crossed with something else because the fruit is not the same this year, so we;ll see what the cross produces. There are many more fruits this year.

  4. Michelle, I know. Isn't it fun to see all those old heirlooms.

    Dan, me too. The description in the yearbook said it looked like a wheel of cheese, but the photos on the internet don't look like that. I think the original seed is very variable and as people have been growing it out they have been choosing different plants to collect from. It will be fun to see what mine look like. I might get different looking squash from different plants.

    Cosmic and Co, prolific is a very good quality, as long as it tastes good. Tasting good is always the goal at least for me.