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Kove Janeski (MLA ’24) featured in UW Farm Weekly Newsletter

Around The Farm

By Kove Janeski, UW Farm Student Staff – Organic Farming and Operations Lead

It’s Winter Squash Season!

The UW Farm is constantly seeking out rare, culturally significant crop varieties that may be adaptable to our pacific northwest climate. This season, one of those crops was the Seminole pumpkin. Being native to Florida, this squash does well in hot and humid climates.

This variety is also naturally resistant to insects, pests, and powdery mildew. At the UW Farm we noticed this crop was slow to take off in our cold and wet Spring, but ended up being productive right along with more conventional varieties when we harvested in this Fall.

As Seattle summers become increasingly unpredictable and extreme, the Farm looks forward to the continued cultivation of the Seminole pumpkin and similarly resistant crops!

The Seminole pumpkin [] that we sourced from Pueblo Seed Company has been cultivated since time immemorial by the Seminole and the Miccosukee people. According to Naples Botanic Garden, [] the Seminole word for this squash is “chassahowitzka”, which means “hanging pumpkin”. It gets the name from the way it is traditionally grown by training the vines to grow up girdled trees in the Everglades and the fruits hang down form the tree’s bare branches. Though our squash was planted on the ground this season, we plan on growing more of the farm’s cucurbit varieties on trellises next year. This will help maximize our growing space and keep the pumpkins cleaner in the future.

As we harvest the remaining Seminole pumpkins in the field, we have noticed that it stores very well! The changing of seasons from Summer and Fall to Winter means farm production ramps down. Due to its ability to store for long periods, the Seminole pumpkin and other winter squash varieties can play a key role in our ability to distribute produce throughout the year. The taste of the Seminole pumpkin has been described as a cross between butternut and pumpkin, having a rich and sweet flavor. We hope you can taste one too. Try  growing this rare winter squash in your home garden next season, seed source and resources below..

Seminole Pumpkin; Oh My Gourd! []
Seminole Pumpkin []
Ark of Taste;  []Seminole Pumpkin []
Seminole-squash-curcurbita-moscata-seeds []