Seminole Pumpkins

It doesn’t seem like the time to harvest pumpkins, but… 

For Seminole pumpkins, it is!  These pumpkins, Cucurbita moschata, are a wild squash of the Everglades, and were an important food source for the native tribes of South Florida.  They were often grown in the middle of oak hammocks, where they were protected from high winds and hidden from other tribes.  Designated trees served to trellis the vines, and the fruit hung from the limbs. 

Naturally, these pumpkins can handle heat and humidity.  Pests are no problem, either.  They’re related to butternut squash, but they’re even sweeter.  They improve any pumpkin or squash recipe.  I’ve got some to share with you soon.

Give them some space in the garden; the vines can grow up to 20 feet.  They didn’t follow the trellis I designed, and instead trailed along paths and up fences.  The leaves are silvery and variegated.  The pumpkins turn a buff color when they’re ripe, and they weigh around 3 pounds.  In South Florida, plant them in October and harvest in May or June.  I’ve read they will keep for 6 months at room temperature, even here, where our Halloween pumpkins collapse on our porches before Thanksgiving.

You can find seeds at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.


3 Comments Seminole Pumpkins

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