After discussing the situation about the white patches on the pumpkins with Novice Gardener, I decided to brave it and cut open the pumpkin that had the biggest white patch. I say “brave” because in Novice Gardener’s similar experience, there were creepy-crawlies within. Needless to say, I didn’t want to cut the fruit open, but my morbid curiosity drove me on.
The skin was quite soft and easy to cut through, so I know that meant that the pumpkin was still immature. Moreover, it began oozing a sticky kind of sap, which you get with green fruits, like chiku.
Apart from that, I was happy to note that there didn’t seem to be any inhabitants in the flesh inside. In fact, I deliberately cut through the white patch in the skin, and cut away the white skin from the flesh, and still didn’t see any holes or passages or larvae of any sort.
We cooked the pumpkin the next day. It wasn’t sweet; the flavour was neutral. Texture-wise, it was like regular pumpkin. So at least it wasn’t wasted. We intend to keep the other, Double Oops, pumpkin for a while longer to see if it will fare any better. I heard that the fruits continue to ripen even after they’re plucked, so we’ll see if the flavour improves over a few weeks.
With regard to the white patch on the pumpkin skin, I think I caught it in time as the skin was still hard and hopefully still a barrier to insects. I’ve raised the other fruits from the ground and turned them a little to let the white bits get more air and light. I’m also wondering if I should not water the plants too much, in case it’s the moisture from that which attracts the insects. After all, if most of the area is dry and there’s suddenly an oasis of moisture, I think that would be like a beacon to moisture-hungry creatures. That being said, I wouldn’t want to have fruits like tomatoes around right now; I’m sure they’d be under seige.