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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
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Jackie Clay

Q and A: green potatoes, planting corn and pumpkins together, and Brunswick stew

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Green potatoes

When I dug my potatoes last fall they were nice and brown. I put them on tables in my garage and they turned green — dark green. I have used some; peeling all the green away but was wondering why they turned green and if I can use the rest for seeding this year.

Joline Fleming
Rossiter, Pennsylvania

Potatoes turn green due to light. It can be light from a window or even light from a light fixture. You can use them to reseed, but you’re doing right by peeling all the green away as it can be toxic. — Jackie

Planting corn and pumpkins together

My 16 year old daughter wants to plant pumpkins and try to sell them from our house. I want to plant popcorn. We have one plot. I know the Native Americans used to do this, but how? Do I plant both at the same time? How do I space them? Do the squash seeds go in the rows or in between rows? Do I have to constantly go in and pull the vines down off the corn? Any suggestions for what type of pumpkin she should plant?

Also, sometime back you said you would mail Hopi Pale Gray squash seed. I would like to try these, but not sure how to get my information to you.

Becky McKim
Ankeny, Iowa

Yes, Native Americans did — and many still do — plant corn and pumpkins together, often adding pole beans to climb on the cornstalks. The trick is to plant only corn that is to be used as dry corn (such as corn for cornmeal or in your case, popcorn). No, you don’t plant them at the same time. Wait until the corn is up about 4 inches then plant your pumpkin seeds. It works best to plant the pumpkin seeds between the corn seeds in the row. I usually leave a few spaces down the rows for the pumpkin seeds. In this way you can cultivate the rows until the pumpkin vines start to run. No, you don’t have to pull the vines off the corn — just let them ramble. I usually kind of “aim” the running vines down the rows so they don’t try to climb the corn right away. And plant a tall variety of popcorn, not a dwarf kind like Tom Thumb, as the vines will climb on the cornstalks somewhat and the stalks need to be strong enough to support them.

If folks want some of my Hopi Pale Grey squash seeds, the best way is to send a padded SASE to the magazine and they’ll forward groups of envelopes on to me and I’ll mail them on to you. But, as I now have your address, I’ll go ahead and send some right to you. (You have to understand that I can’t always do this because of the cost of the envelopes and stamps.) I do get a lot of requests!

If you want to grow the Hopi Pale Grey squash, please choose a pumpkin that is a C. pepo so they won’t cross. If you plant two C. maximas, like HPGs and a pumpkin that is a C. maxima, they will cross and your seed won’t remain pure.

A couple of good pumpkins that are C. pepos are Howden, Connecticut Field, and Long Island Cheese. Smaller pumpkins that sell well are Sugar Pie and Wee-Be-Little.

Have fun and enjoy your garden! — Jackie

Brunswick stew

I love your canning book! I about used it out this fall. My question is do you think it would be possible to replace the chicken in your Brunswick stew recipe with rabbit? Would there be any adjustments? Do you have any other favorite rabbit recipes?

Malisa Niles
Woonsocket, South Dakota

Yes, you can substitute rabbit for the chicken in the Brunswick stew recipe with no adjustments or changes in processing. In fact, I often substitute rabbit or grouse for chicken in nearly all recipes. No, I don’t have a favorite, but using boned rabbit in stir fry recipes is right up at the top. — Jackie

2 Responses to “Q and A: green potatoes, planting corn and pumpkins together, and Brunswick stew”

  1. Ove Moller Says:


    Please don’t use green potatoes at all, not even the non-green parts. Green potatoes are poisonous in all it’s meat (from a glycoalkaloid called solanin). The green part is green from chlorophyll, which is not poisonous in itself, but tells you the potato is poisonous. Check out or several other sources on the net.

    Best wishes, Ove in Sweden

  2. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    Gee, I’ve eaten trimmed green potatoes all my life! Wow.


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