Winter Squash, Piacentina (Organic)
Cucurbita maxima. 105 days.
Incredibly dense, striking grey-blue winter squash ranging 10-20 lbs. Vigorous vines grow to 30 ft. A bit on the late maturing side, but worth the wait. Drier flesh is the perfect consistency for adding to baked goods, raviolis, gnocchi, or any recipe that calls for a thick, less watery puree – it especially shines as the base for a winter pasta sauce. Rich nutty flavor has a moderate sweetness perfect for everything savory – a nice respite from extremely sweet squash that can be overpowering and inappropriate for many uses. Stores very well, making it a great option later in the hungry winter season. We find it to be a really tasty winter squash, and it’s so beautiful we might even consider growing it just for its ornamental value. Everyone says, “Wow!” when they see it. Originating in the province of Piacenza where they celebrate its prestige with La festa della Zucca, a festival that is competitively replicated all over the region. Our strain appears to be distinctly different from the similar Berrettina squash of the Lombardy region, as it is larger and does not show the large turban bump that the Berrettina predominately sports. Aka, Zucca Beretta Piacentina.
Sow indoors in 2-4” pots with good potting soil May through mid-June. Transplant into the garden 1-2 weeks after sprouting to 2-3’ centers and 6′ wide rows. May also be direct sown when soil is warm. Young plants are sensitive, we recommend row cover to protect from frost and insects.
To save seed, scoop out seeds when you eat the fruit. Rinse off and dry. Isolate from other squash of the same species by at least ½ mile.