Farm News | January 10, 2024
Pumpkin Quest 2023 – The Results
Among other incredible progress and noteworthy moments in the Market Garden, 2023 saw the team on a major quest to find the perfect pumpkin varieties to grow on the farm…
What Was Pumpkin Quest?
Inspired by the work of the Culinary Breeding Network, the Market Garden team decided to grow as many pumpkin varieties as possible in the 2023 season – to see which ones grow well in north Edinburgh, to find the best flavours in a big taste test, and to share the results* to help others choose varieties to grow and eat.
The Market Garden team rated the varieties on how successfully they grew from seed, how they stood up to disease and pests, and the number and weight of pumpkins per plant. We combined these to give each variety a ‘Growers Score’. Then we held a pumpkin tasting party! Around 40 people joined us to rate the cooked pumpkins for looks, taste and texture. This gave each variety a ‘Tasters Score’. The tasters also each picked an overall favourite.
Combined together with some nifty maths, these ratings allowed us to crown the winners of Pumpkin Quest 2023…
Pumpkin Quest: The Results
What Happens Now?
The varieties with high scores across the board are top of the list for us to grow again. If they scored high on taste but were tricky to grow, they may get another chance to see if it was just a tough year for them or if they really aren’t suited to our site. If they grew well but didn’t score so high on taste, we might grow them again if we can give out some good tips for preparation and cooking.
Curious To Know More?
*If you want details, we have GOT details. Click here to read Jossie’s extraordinary report on Substack on the pumpkin growing trial – it includes a guide to pumpkin varieties, detailed growing notes, more on how we did the testing and how we chose the winners, plus four separate graphs and a chart!
(You shouldn’t need a Substack account to read it – just click ‘continue reading’ if you get a pop-up login box.)
The Market Garden team would like to say thank you to all the volunteers and taste testers who helped made this possible, and fun. And all of us at Edinburgh Agroecology Co-op tip our hats to Jossie’s data handling skills!