Chris takes us to Beloian Farms in the Central Valley of California, an organic farm that grows Zuccurì. We will find out what to look for and learn how to detect when it is ready to harvest.
Typical kabocha will be 6-8 inches in diameter with a dark green color. The sowing date was March 18th. After 97 days we are seeing some fruit that is ready to be picked. The most important factor when deciding if your kabocha is ready is to look at the plant stem. When it is ready, the plant stem will become woody and like a wine cork. If the stem has not hardened off, the kabocha is not yet ready to harvest.
You can twist the fruit to detach it from vine or use a knife to cut stem about 1.5-2 inches from fruit. Be careful not to damage plant or vine when removing ripe zuccuri because there could be immature fruit that can be harvested at a later date.
Once harvested, it is crucial to figure out your curing time. It will allow time for your kabocha to build sugars and flavors that it needs prior to consumption. We typically recommend a 10-14 day period for peak ripeness. Zuccuri can be cured by simply leaving the produce somewhere shaded or protected from the sun. After the curing period is complete the Zuccurì is ready to be eaten. When your Zucurri is done curing, find our recipes here!