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We provide high-quality Rwanda squash to the local and export markets. We source the raw fresh Rwanda squash from family growers in the country.
Rwanda squash (all members of the Cucurbitaceae family) consists of vegetables in the form of thick-skinned gourds that thrive upon ground-creeping vines. There are many species, but the four most common C. maxima (true pumpkin), C. pepo (winter squash), C. pepo v. cylandrica (courgette) and C. moschata (butternut squash). The main ingredients of the fruits include antioxidants which prevent gastronomic problems.
Cucurbita maxima: common as the true pumpkin, C. maxima sometimes goes by the simple term ‘gourd’ or ‘pumpkin.’ Being perhaps the most common squash around the world, it bears a yellow hard-to-cut exterior when it has ripened. If left for too long, it rots into a soft, miry, easy-to-cut yellow skin with deep orange flesh with a similar-colored core of big, oval seeds.
Grown in northern Rwanda, this squash is bushy, especially during the immature stage. The nutritious leaves undergo harvesting many times before the gourds attain their mature, large sizes. The pumpkins grow upon tough vines with soft but fiery hairs along their midriffs.
Cucurbita pepo: for this pumpkin, the odds are that it is among the most grown in the country. It bears large, ribbed gourds that turn yellow when ripe or retain their green tinge at other times. Its alternative names across Australia are right squash or winter squash. Whatever its name, C. pepo has been domesticated since 2500 B.C.
In Rwanda, farmers in the Northern Province and other regions grow it for home use due to its radical-fighting antioxidants. They also parade it in local markets for generating income. The surplus always goes to the international markets.
Cucurbita pepo var. cylandrica: perhaps the most pickled squash not only in Rwanda but across the globe, this member of C. pepo genus is unique for being elongated rather than round. It also has plenty of confusing names, with the most common being courgette and zucchini. We harvest it from our partners’ farms in the Northern Province when the oblong pieces are still immature. By then they measure 10 to 15 cm long. Though they can grow to 1-meter maximum length, these courgettes will by then have turned into tough marrows and may have an uninviting flavor. The origin of this marrow-like gourd was in the Americas, thousands of years ago. It was not however since the 1850s that it came into commercial cultivation in the northern part of Italy.
Cucurbita moschata: popular as butternut squash, this is perhaps the least known of Rwanda squash fruits. It thrives on vines that reach 2 feet high and develop on vines that extend to 5 meters in length over a climbing prop. The distinctive feature of the plant is that it shoots up pretty fast and is all but a bush under right conditions within the first few weeks of development. Like courgette, it has oblong rather than round fruits. Its color can be either yellow or brown and soft. Like other gourds, it bears seeds that rest on a ring in each middle of the cross-sectioned fruit.
Our sources of butternut squash in Rwanda include the northern districts. Our family growers here grow all forms of squashes. They tend after them through organic means.
We harvest all of our Rwanda squash members apart from courgette similarly. We begin by extracting the tender foliage which we bunch for sale in local groceries. We then look for sizable gourds at least 60 days after the sprouting of the plant. We use sharp cutlery to detach the fruits with an inch of the attaching stem intact. We store these in perforated polyethylene bags in readiness for packing.
We pack all our Rwanda squashes by international standards. For C. pepo gourds, we carry out strict grading as the plant takes a long time to mature and the fruits may be of different sizes. For this reason, we use one 1/9th bushel size produce boxes that can accommodate the different sizes by count. For courgette, we go for ½ bushel size boxes which we pack lengthwise across the box. The stalk side tightly aligns to the carton’s wall to restrict movement during travel and thus reduce friction and injuries. We attach self-adhesive labels on each box to indicate the name/cultivar, the date of packing, the net weight and the country of origin.
We store Rwanda squash in a dimly-lit environment that fosters the distinctive coloring of the mature fruit. We keep the temperature at 10 degrees Celsius. We reserve a relative humidity of 50 to 75 percent.
We convey Rwanda squash in special trucks with controlled environment gear on board. Each vehicle contains buffering pads at the bottom of the cargo rest to cushion against friction-related injuries. We give a grace period of 24 to 48 hours from the dispatch date to the arrival of the consignment in your destination.
In short, if you are very selective about pumpkins, then you have a family of diverse species to select from in our Rwanda squash range. Whether it is maxima, pepo, butternut or courgette, you now have the perfect supplier. As a quality guarantee, we only source the fruits from Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified sources. We also keep the quantity right by being in perpetual contact with our thousands of sources throughout the order period. As always, our prices are relatively low. Make an order today!
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