(110 days) Open-pollinated. Creek-speaking Seminole Indians gave it the name chassa-howitska, meaning ‘hanging pumpkin.’ Rated one of the ten most endangered American foods by RAFT, these buff-colored 7" teardrop-shaped squashes were cultivated by the Seminole in the Everglades region of Florida in the 1500s. The seeds were sowed at the base of girdled trees, so that the irrepressible vines, which grow in excess of 30', climbed the trunks, allowing the fruit to hang from the bare limbs. The deep orange flesh is sweeter than butternut, superb for pies, soup and baked treats, and the key ingredient in delicious Seminole pumpkin bread. Rated third among 21 varieties in a 2005 fall taste test, and was co-star with Paydon in our February 2006 warehouse feast. Resistant to vine borers. Extremely hard rind must be cracked like a coconut. Stores nearly forever. A great performer in the south and along the Atlantic seaboard, it loves hot humid climates. Kathleen from Zone 6b in Tennessee extols Seminole as “perfect for this climate and very disease resistant.” Typically requires too long a season to thrive in the North.
Elisa Carbone of Hendricks, WV, advises that the immature fruits taste like extremely sweet zucchini. “Just chop them up and steam, sauté or make the most heavenly frittata ever!” Mary Foley, who is enjoying her retirement in Massachusetts, sent in a picture of a Seminole after one year of storage and proclaimed that it “tasted as good as ever.” This was from seed she saved herself, but it shows the potential of this squash. Indigenous Royalties. ②
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