Income can be derived not only from pumpkin fruits but also from the flowers which have to be harvested every day when they open early in the morning. The flowers are valued vegetables, especially in Northern Luzon where they are used in cooking dinengdeng, inabraw or bulanglang.
One pumpkin planter who harvests the flowers for sale is Roderick Gray, an owner of a five-hectare diversified farm in Umingan, Pangasinan. Roderick is one of those who pilot-tested the new pumpkin hybrid from East-West Seed which has the superior characteristics of Suprema plus an added bonus of higher resistance to the Squash Leaf Curl Virus (SLCV), a serious disease of pumpkins in the Philippines.
The new hybrid called Bella F1 is highly prolific not only in terms of fruits but also in male flowers which are sold as vegetable. Roderick says that a small bundle of 10 flowers sells for P8 in Pangasinan. A big squash plantation can yield thousands of flowers every day. This could mean a daily cash flow for the farmer.
Roderick grows in his 5-hectare farm a wide variety of crops, including rice, glutinous corn, squash, eggplant, tomato, okra, hot pepper and Red Royal papaya.