Incredible & Edible Pumpkins
It’s that time of year when big pumpkins, squash and gourds are in the markets! Here at the Dallas Arboretum, we have our nationally-acclaimed Pumpkin Village all set up for Autumn at the Arboretum. We even have a display area that highlights each one of our 52 varieties of squash, pumpkins and gourds! What you might not know is that a lot of these varieties are edible – and not just edible, but really good quality. If you want to create your own decorative fall display at home, choose wisely and you can have a beautiful display that is totally edible. Here are some of my favorites that you can find in our displays here at the Dallas Arboretum.
‘Table Ace’ is an acorn-type squash. This variety is very sweet thanks to its high sugar content. Great just baked and served hot.
Marina de Chioggia
An heirloom winter squash that comes from the small Italian seaside village of Chioggia. This squash has a shiny aquamarine-green color with very bumpy skin and looks great in a display. The dry, sweet flesh is ideal for Italian recipes that call for squash.
This squash (some think it’s a pumpkin) has a sweet, nutty flavor. Its green and light orange mottled skin is beautiful in a display and so good to eat!
This large, heirloom variety of squash has a beautiful, smooth pink outer skin. The flesh is very versatile and can be used for many squash dishes. It can grow up to 50 pounds, so one fruit can definitely serve a crowd.
‘Triamble’ is another bluish-gray colored squash. This is an heirloom variety from Australia. The flavor is great and it adds a lot to a decorative display.
‘Naples,’ as the name implies, is another Italian variety. This heirloom can produce large, long and slender fruits weighing up to 40 pounds. It has a rich sweet flavor.
‘Jarrahdale’ is probably my favorite variety to use in cooking: this one comes to us from the town of Jarrahdale in New Zealand. It is beautiful in a display with its steely-blue color. The flesh is dark orange and so good to eat.
These varieties are available at many markets, so have some fun and create a beautiful display that can be ‘harvested’ for great dishes through the season! Come visit the Dallas Arboretum during Autumn at the Arboretum to get a closer look at these varieties and get some great ideas for displaying pumpkins.
Autumn at the Arboretum is presented by Reliant.
Written by Dave Forehand, VP of gardens at the Dallas Arboretum.