I once worked for a certain professor who used to get tons of food-related books in the mail. One of the books was the Compleat Squash by Amy Goldman. “Do you want this?” he said one day when we were cleaning out his office bookshelves. I opened up the book. A few pages into it, I knew what it was: pumpkin porn. “Hell, yeah,” I said and took it home.
That night I looked through each of the glossy pages, skimmed the text, with growing awe of the author, whose obsession with pumpkins and gourds and squash has led to a pumpkin curing barn, for example. I found myself staring at a blue-colored cucurbita maxima called Triamble. It’s one of Goldman’s favorites (and she is harsh on some of my favorites). “I adore Triamble for every reason in the book,” she writes, “… with the dense abundant flesh (there’s no hole or seed cavity, in these pumpkins) are about the most highly evolved pumpkins on the planet.”
It’s called Triamble because they have three triangular lobes. I had grown some of the squash in the book: Galeuse d’ Eysines (warty and wonderful but also watery). Blue Hubbard (yum). Rogue vif d’Estampes (the Cinderella pumpkin). Kabocha. Turk’s Turban. Butternut. Acorn. And then, I decided, I would grow Triamble.
First I had to find the seeds. I looked all over and finally saw them in the Seed Savers catalog. Since I knew I wanted to save the seeds, I planted only one c. maxima variety–the Triamble. It didn’t stop me from planting other cucurbits–I grew a Thelma Sanders, which is a c. pepo and thus wouldn’t cross pollinate with the maxima.
The Triamble plant sprouted and ran wild around the garden. Sprawling, sprawling. It is an ambitious squash. I got a fair number of small triangular fruits. They looked like pieces of art in the garden, blue against the green foliage, that wadded up shape that my friend David said looked like a piece of chewing gum. I managed to pull about 15 fruit off the plant–one was very large and had, somehow, four lobes–and let them sit in my kitchen on top of the fridge to cure.
I ended up giving many of them away to friends as art objects, door stops, gourd-y decor. And then, I started to cook them. Inside, they are strikingly orange. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to cut in half. The skin was brittle but not like armor like some squash I’ve met before.
So far I’ve made soup, curry, pumpkin bread, donuts (yes!), and pumpkin pie from the lovely Triamble. The flesh is outstandingly dry, dense, and like Goldman promised, abundant.
I’d like to share the abundance–I saved some seeds from the biggest Triamble. If you’d like me to send you some, send me your mailing address (novellacarpenter at yahoo dot com), or come by to pick them up on the farm tour this Saturday, 10am-12.
Update: i’ve gotten your requests and i’ll send seeds to you all this weekend! also, someone said the email didn’t work–try novellacarpenter (at) gmail dot com
i would adore the chance to try a triamble.
i recently ripped out my front yard so that i could grow (more) large, architectural, beautiful, tasty vegetables! i will email you in a bit with my info!
Planning to come to the farm tour this weekend – I hope it is dry enough (but I cannot in good conscience wish for less rain). I’d love a seed or two!
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Thanks SO much for letting us tour your property and meet you and your animals! It took us way out of our comfort zone which is a good thing: keeping bees and raising rabbits for meat. I hope you got your potatoes planted…I’m looking forward to making some SWCs
Lisa and Roger H, Rockridge
yay thank you! i got the seeds! thank you, novella.
I got the seeds in the mail! Hooray! Thanks so much.
I got your seeds in the mail last week! I tried to send you an email, but it bounced back for some reason. Oh, well. Thank you again… we can’t wait to plant these little gems!
This IS a love story! I am inspired to attempt growing triamble and other pumpkins in SF. Your Blog is inspiring and always good for a laugh! Thank you so much for all you do.
Thank you so much for the seeds!
yay, glad people are getting their seeds. to those of you who haven’t received them yet: i had to buy more stamps. look for them in the mail this week.
Novella! Thanks for the triamble seeds. I can’t wait to grow some of those freakish fruits in my front yard. I think my neighbors already think I’m a little ‘weird’ for having chickens in the city! Wait’ll they see those pumpkins! (Or are they considered a squash or not a pumpkin?) I’ll be sharing the seeds with friends in town. 🙂
Novella–I am happy to report that my triamble squash plant (sprouting from your triamble seeds!) is thriving. The plant’s aborted one baby squash so I’m going to hand pollinate the female blossoms go forward (there are 2 viable female blossoms). 🙂 Here’s to a good harvest!
thank god, christine. mine is doing okay, but it’s been rough with the cold start to spring, and only has two wimply blooms.
Hi Novella–never fear: if your plant does not produce enough squash, and mine does, i will bring some on over to share!
It was a horrible growing season this year–September, and I’ve only harvested 5 ripe tomatoes (tons of green tomatoes still left on the plants), despite my getting tomato plants in teh soil earlier this year (mid-March).
But I managed to get 5 squashes on the triamble squash vine 🙂 2 are pretty much ripe now. 3 are approaching blueness.
Would you like one? Did your triamble do okay?
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Hi, I grew these last summer. I had started a huge selection of pumpkins and squash plants to sell at our school plant sale, and grew some at home so I could have starter seeds to sell in addition to the plants this year. I also grew Red Kuri, Galeaux, and a Malaysian butternut pumpkin F1 hybrid. I put in a vertical trellis recycled from a metal futon frame and tied the fruits up in organza fabric which dries almost instantly. People came by all summer to admire my “wall of squash”. Thanks for the heads up!
Hi, I found your blog when I was wondering whether I should try this pumpkin, and now I’m sold! I know this was posted a long time ago, but do you still grow them? Are they a staple in your garden now? Do you have any seeds you’d like to share with a homebody that finally gets her own garden again after a few years? lol. I’m so excited, I’m getting a bunch of heirloom tomatoes from tomatobob.com, including the best tomato ever – Caspian Pink!!! And I also finally have a place to bring my overabundance, and little plants that I won’t have room for – the West Des Moines Human Services. I’m 30 and disabled and they clothe me, feed me, and keep me in toiletries and bread and overstocked fruit from grocers they’ve partnered with, while I wait for my disability hearing, so it’ll be awesome to be able to give back some fruit and plants to them. A few years ago when I lived in Des Moines also, I found out that the other food pantries, don’t want my tomatoes bc I’m not a licensed, bonded and insured grocer, they don’t want my seedlings, and… I got frustrated and sad and ended up giving them away on Craigslist. But now I have a happy home for my garden spoils and I can’t wait to garden again! I’m going to go read the rest of your blog now and find out about your farm, glad to have met you via Mr. Triamble!!! -Liz
I bought my 1st one a few days back. After cooking it was one of the best pumpkins I ever had. It’s sweet and creamy. Just add a little butter and brown sugar and you’ll be in heaven. I saved some seeds for growing next year and roasted the rest.