A couple years ago, my friend Ivana got a fancy pumpkin at Trader Joes. We called it the “Lumpy Pumpkin,” and I convinced her to save me some seeds. After doing some research, that is what I do best, I determined that it is called Galeux D’Eysines, a French heirloom variety. Last spring, I planted some seeds, but they didn’t do well. This spring, I planted some seeds in the part of the yard that always grows pumpkins beautifully, the front. I’m not sure what it is there, except being relatively unmolested by the dogs, and having tons of room to spread out. We have had nothing but success with growing pumpkins as a sort of green mulch (pumpkins outcompete weeds, so I don’t have to fuss with the front yard much) with the added benefit of some gorgeous autumn lovelies when the vines start getting wonky at the end of the season.
A couple years ago, I had a pretty incredible bumper crop of pumpkins. I planted random seeds from a mixed winter squash seed packet, not really caring what grew.
This year, I did something similar. I was in a seed-planting frenzy, and I just ran out into the yard with a handful of old seed packets, planted a bunch, and then promptly forgot what went where. Imagine my surprise when a single plant took off and began taking over the entire garden bed! Even more, the yellowish immature fruit on the vine were confusing. I just couldn’t identify anything that they looked even somewhat similar to.
This vine was vigorous. It tried climbing the tree, it has totally enveloped several sage, heather, lavender, and succulent plants. I have had to cut it back from invading the lawn multiple times. It doesn’t give up. The other day, I collected all of the larger pumpkins from it, but haven’t yet pulled the entire vine out, so there are a handful of smaller, less-mature, and generally less exciting pumpkins still out there. But here’s my main haul. The biggest one ended up rotting, which is a bummer because it had the coolest lumps.
OK, so the fancy thing with the Galeaux D’Eysines pumpkin, which is also commonly referred to as the sugar wart pumpkin, is that as they grow, they develop “warts” of sugar, that when left to their own devices (and not extinguished by autumn), look kind of peanut-like. Mine just didn’t have a long enough season (or maybe it was too dry – I didn’t water them even once, despite not having rain for over a month), and their sugar warts were a great deal less over the top, or were entirely nonexistent.
The big one I am estimating is somewhere in the 20-40lb range, but I haven’t yet weighed it. It’s quite large, and very heavy though.
The pumpkins are very pretty, and I love the pinky-salmon color they have. But based on my research, they are incredible baking pumpkins. The Internet proclaims that the sugar wart pumpkin has a velvety smooth texture, which should make for a really nice soup, or the ultimate pumpkin pie.