Food, Gardening, Taos

Two Calabaza Seeds from Jerry

The garden is half-planted, all the hardy stuff. Now I have to gauge how much more I can grow. Green beans, tomatoes, chiles, zucchinis, cucumbers, soybeans, and calabazas, which is Spanish for squash.

Calabaza seeds

I only have two calabaza seeds left — a gift from my friend Jerry who died last year. Yes, they came in the plastic box.

Jerry was a colleague at the paper, our Spanish editor, and a bit of a gabber. He especially loved to talk about growing. He was bothered by the intrusion of GMO vegetables by agribusinesses and worried for New Mexico’s chiles. He cherished the calabaza seeds he got from a farmer. 
Months before he died, Jerry shared those seeds with his former co-workers. I planted a few last year, but a late frost got the plants and they never recovered. I have two seeds left. I will try again. This time, I will baby them.
The start of this year’s garden


I did a story for my old newspaper about a woman who one year saved seeds from a buttercup winter squash to plant the following spring. She made a pie from the squash for Thanksgiving. She kept doing it for years. By time I caught up with her, the squash she grew looked like some primitive thing. I doubted it was very sweet. But for the woman, the tradition kept her going.
I would say the same for my late friend, Jerry, and traditions. I’m not sure how the calabaza will look or taste. But I plan to find out.