Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baby Beuys Update

The last two days have been a bit more exciting than usual here at Bona Fide Farm. Three of the six Beuys Squash plants have male and female flowers on them!

Yes, it is cause for celebration, yet I am remaining cautious for now for a couple reasons:

1. I cannot be absolutely certain that the Spaghetti and Delicata squash actually cross-pollinated. Granted, they were in extremely close proximity to one another, less than two feet (.7 of a meter or so). One would think that at least one industrious bee of one variety or another would make the jump from one plant to the other. But it is still way too early to recognize any specific characteristics of the parent plants; and even if I were to see the stripes that are characteristic of the Delicata, that does not mean that the flesh of the fruit won’t be stringy like the Spaghetti.

The ‘habit’ of the plant is also key to identification. The variety of Delicata that grew last year is known as a Bush Delicata, meaning that the plant does not have runners like a great many other types of squash. The Spaghetti, on the other hand, has runners. At this point in time, the plants are still fairly small, and while I may have detected what could be the beginnings of a runner, again, it is still way too soon to tell.

2. A fairly distant second concern is the overall characteristics of the new plant’s fruit. While the plan is to offer the seeds in sets of three as works of art, if people actually buy one of these ‘pieces’ (a rarity for my art), they may very well plant the seeds with the expectation that the fruit will not only be edible but also delectable. That is the farmer in me talking. I take pride in my product.

Stay tuned.

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