That’s a nice-sized calabaza, clocking in at 6.5lbs (though it looks bigger than that thanks to the long neck).
The seeds for this guy came from a squash I purchased at a local Hispanic market. The country of origin was somewhere in tropical South America so I figured it would be perfect for growing in Florida. I was right – the vines are vigorous and the squash really look great. This is the first one to mature this year, but the plants are doing so well that I can gladly report that growing calabaza in Florida is easy. They take a bit longer to get going than Seminole pumpkins; however, they’re tough and do great with little care.
Plus, they just look cool.
There is at least one more fruit ripening at the moment on that vine – check it out:
I believe these calabazas are C. mixta, which means they won’t cross with my Seminole pumpkins (C. moschata) and I can grow them in the same beds without worrying about getting strange pumpkins from the seeds I save.
If you haven’t tried growing calabazas, I highly recommend them. The flavor isn’t as rich as butternuts but I still find it better than acorn squashes, plus the texture is different and gives us a change of pace from our regularly scheduled consumption of piles and piles of Seminole pumpkins.
I have a cool trick for growing squash with very little care that I describe in my book Compost Everything: The Good Guide To Extreme Composting. Pick up a copy (it’s now available in paperback and Kindle versions) and support my experiments.