Pumpkin or Gourd?

pumpkin cookies from start to finish You can’t judge a book by its cover; well, you can’t judge a pumpkin by its shape either.

Actually, I am not talking about a pumpkin but a “melon squash” or “sweet necked squash.”

Cut and ready for the ovenSome look at its shape and call it a gourd, but when you cut it open you see a solid orange neck and a hollow bulb full of seeds. We dry the seeds to plant in the spring or eat. Michael started growing these squash when he learned that they were sweet enough to eat raw. However, they are best when cooked and used in recipes which call for pumpkin.  They make perfect pumpkin pies.

Pumpkin bread made with our own honeyOne squash goes a long way. I cut up one that was fourteen pounds last week and was able to can five quarts of pumpkin with three cups left over for soup!  They also keep well in the cellar.

My first pumpkin roll!In all the pumpkin recipes posted, I have used this squash either fresh or canned. My latest experience with this delicious vegetable has been a pumpkin cake roll.  This is a cake rolled up with cream Yum, don't these look good!cheese.  This recipe is going to take some practice!  Does anyone have any pointers about how to make a pumpkin roll? Mine tasted good but did not look “like the picture.” 

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1,2


  1. Michael November 22, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    I highly recommend growing these “pumpkins” if you have a lot of space, especially if you are interested in “sustainable methods”. They are open pollinated so you can raise your own seeds, and each vigorous plant can produce 60 pounds of pumpkin or more. I have had very little pest problems and no disease problems at all after growing them 3 years. There is a huge ratio of “meat” to seeds too. When I heard someone refer to them as “gourds” I winced because I think of a gourd as a dry inedible decoration. These are a beautiful bright gold in color and very delicious, surpassing any traditional pumpkin I’ve ever tasted. A real blessing! 🙂

  2. Allen P. November 22, 2008 at 8:41 pm #

    Will these grow well in Western New York? We have plenty of space, but what about weather conditions? Have you tried to make pumpkin pie with it? Sounds good.

  3. Allen P. November 22, 2008 at 8:42 pm #

    By the way, that pumpkin roll looks very delicious!

  4. Crystal November 23, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    The pictures are beginning to make me hungry:-) When will they develop a computer feature that will let you taste things….
    In the picture it looks to me like the pumpkin roll turned out pretty good.

  5. Donald November 23, 2008 at 11:15 pm #

    Today I had the time to do some study and I found that the differences between squash, pumpkins, melons and gourds are hard to judge indeed. I had the same question when I mentioned the winter melon in the previous post. One interesting thing I did find though was that cantaloupe and honeydew melon are subspecies of a single species. Maybe we can figure this one out later!
    By the way, a teacher gave me a piece of fruit today which is 25 times as sweet as sugar, good for you lungs and a remedy for asthma which may really prove to help a team member in Hualien. Praise the Lord for planting so many varieties of the “herb for the service of man”. It was great to read about your harvest this year! Well-done pictures too.

  6. Christi November 24, 2008 at 5:30 am #

    That pumpkin roll looks delicious! I don’t have any tips to offer though, sorry.
    My aunt makes them every year for Christmas and they are always perfect. If I see her I will ask for tips for you.

  7. Michael November 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    Yes, Allen, you can definitely make pumpkin pie with them. We do, and it is fantastically delicious! In fact, you can make anything with them that you can make with normal pumpkins. But these keep in storage much better, and can be kept easily in a cool basement for months.
    As for growing them in western New York, it would be worth a try. I bought my seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds, New Gloucester, Maine and you can also get them from Harris Seeds, Rochester, New York (both companies lable them “neck pumpkin”). Have fun!

  8. Michael November 24, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    One more thing, which might be especially helpful for anyone growing them “in the north”: when the vines are still producing but you know there is not a long enough season to ripen the new fruits, you can pick them while they are young (only a foot long and still green and very tender) and eat them just like summer squash!

  9. David November 25, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    I loved the pumpkin roll Mom. It was delicious! I can’t wait until you make it again. Mmmmmmmm.

  10. James November 25, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    I wish I could have been there to help eat all the wonderful stuff you’ve made with those pu’kins!

    One thing to note with how they grow: they ALL grow big. The picture above isn’t the biggest one, it’s just the one that happened to be cut up that day. They really are awesome pumpkins!

  11. Robert November 25, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    I’m looking forward to trying one of your pumpkin rolls, Mom!

    By the way, Christi, you all have a really nice blog over at antsonafarm.blogspot.com. I really enjoyed my visit!

  12. Michael January 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    I have read in two places that these neck pumpkins are what is used for commercial canned pumpkin. I can see several reasons right off the bat:
    1 – Taste: Definitely sweeter than traditional pumpkins
    2 – Texture: The texture of these pumpkins is perfectly smooth; you never get a stringy product no matter how big they grow.
    3 – Color – Always a deep orange-gold while traditional pumpkins are much more yellow.
    4 – Production! Not only do they produce more fruits per plant, but each fruit has a far higher ratio of flesh to seeds. Our biggest one this year was 23 pounds and its seed area was amazingly small.

  13. Marilyn July 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    When I make my pumpkin roll, I spray the cookie sheet with PAM or some other type cooking spray. Once the cake part is done, I remove it from the oven and dump it on a dish towel (linen works best, or one with no lint) that has been sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Roll it up for about 5 minutes to cool, then unroll and ice with cream cheese icing. Re-roll and refrigerate. We love these at our house.


  1. StaddonFamily.com » Blog Archive » To Get a Garden Going - July 14, 2009

    […] Seed for a vigorous, spreading annual vegetable such as neck pumpkin […]

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