Patty Pan or Scallop Squash are some of the earliest summer squashes described in the literature from the 1700's in early colonial America. They were one of the squashes domesticated by the Native Americans and grown by northern tribes. For a while they fell out of favor, but now they are all the rage when harvested at the 2-3 inch size when they are delicate, tender and beautiful lightly steamed, seasoned and plated with the main course.
We have kept old fashioned strains of White Custard, Yellow Scallop and Green Tint and made them more diverse by crossing them with some modern hybrids and then working to stabilize each of the solid colors and bicolor kinds that were selected. Below are the crosses and parents used to produce the seed crop for 2007. We continue to work on stabilizing our selections to keep the diversity of color yet maintaining a consistant scallop shape. So far we have the following breeding lines: White Scallop, Green Tint Scallop, Yellow Scallop, Dark Green Scallop, Green Striped Scallop (see below) and Yellow Striped Scallop. These are all large scallops that we are now stabilizing from the mass cross that we made many years ago.
We were so glad to still have viable seed from a cross we made many years ago using an heirloom Mandan tribal squash and the source of dark green/ light green mottling (below). This year, a pleasant and unexpected variation (same pattern but in yellow/cream) showed up. There must be a gene that controls the pattern that we bred in but what is the cause of the expression in the very different colors? We hope to be able to stabilize the new development. Note how the blossom end shows the beginning of the dark green/light green combination on the yellow/cream scallop.
Asteroid Green Striped: New for 2010
We managed to produce a large quantity of our new squash for 2010; Asteroid Green Striped. Several years in the making; to stabilize the color pattern trait we performed "selfs" on all the fruit we saved for seed. In other words we first identified plants with fruit of a good color pattern (green or light green stripes) and hand pollinated the blossoms; performing crosses only among those identified plants. We believe we have a nice stabilized selection. Our yellow striped selection, Asteroid Yellow Striped has been a bit more fickle in the process of stabilization but we believe that in another year or two it will be where Green Striped is today. We also did a comparison planting of Pattison Squash such as Juane et Verte (the nearest variety for comparison) which produces a very different fruit. Our Asteroid line produces a true scallop similar to Patti-Pan White which doesn't develop the tough skin that the Pattison's do. The striped pattern of Asteroid Striped kinds are particularly attractive at very young stages; Patterson squash develop their best coloration with age.