The Amazing Local Pumpkin
By Joe Kennedy
The Filipino/Hawaiian pumpkin is totally a winner for you folks who are growers, gardeners and farmers. It’s easy to grow (just keep watering it) and it’s resistant to insects and drought — even if it gets powdery mildew, it keeps producing. To plant it, dump half a wheel barrow full of manure or, if you don’t have manure, you can use dirt from under the kiawe or koa tree. Spread it around to about three to four inches. After watering it until the ground is soaked, spread newspaper over this area two or three sheets thick. Put grass or wood chips on top, and wet everything down. Then in the middle, make a hole through the chips and newspaper to the dirt. Put three or four seeds in and cover up the hole with some extra dirt. Make sure this stays moist. Seeds will be up in 10 to 15 days.
The vines will start out slowly but then grow really fast after two or three weeks. Keep watering it every two or three days with a few minutes of water. The plants will spread like crazy. If you want, just pick up the new vine shoots and put them on top of some of the other vines or put up a fence, bush or tree.
Some of the yellow flowers will be pollinated but not all. As soon as the pumpkins are large enough — even though they’re still dark green — they’re ready to eat, skin and all. They longer they stay on the vine, they’ll turn a tan color and become sweeter. The skin becomes a little tough but you can still eat it.
The pumpkin is delicious and very high in nutrition — it can be eaten green or when it’s matured. In addition, it can be stored for up to six months.
You can cook it in a rice cooker with brown or white rice. For extra flavor and nutrition, you can also throw in Tahitian taro leaves or Zuiki taro stems, a few small handfuls of rosemary, Thai basil and garlic salt. Another way is to include any other kinds of squashes, sweet potatoes and white potatoes or green papayas.
Hope you enjoy this awesome, filling, easy-to-make vegetable.