All of this group are basically tan skinned when ripe and have very nice, deep orange flesh high in carotene. As a group they need a warmer growing season to do the best and they are very tolerant of most diseases and insects especially vine borer tolerance. For seed saving purposes all of these are Cucurbita moschata
Canadai Mezoides- 100 days- We have been very impressed with this variety since Nancy Arrowsmith first sent it to us from Austria close to 30 years ago. A short, uniform butternut type that frequently stays green until put into storage. Keeps well and has deep, rich orange flesh The issue is the fruits produce very few seeds. Plants show remarkable resistance to Powdery Mildew. In 2019 we planted the variety on July 10 and picked the deep green fruits on October 10. Ripened slowly in storage by mid January. I personally find it too sweet. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic Seed.
Piena di Napoli
Piena di Napoli- 120 days- A very late and very large butternut type. Frequently over 50 pounds. They rarely if ever turn tan in the field here, but are a deep green when picked and ripen in storage. Flesh is solid in the very large neck and a deep orange . Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic seed
Trombocino Rampicante- 100 days-Long, skinny, curved fruits. Typically used in the immature stage (with flower still intact). Fruits can be up to 6 inches long when the flower opens (much larger than most other squash). As they age and mature use them as a butternut. Some variability in fruit shape occurs. Pkt. $3.00
A group that is perhaps the most heirloom group we offer as most of these can trace their history back a number of years. They usually are large and have a tan skin and orange flesh. In many cases they were used when families were large and for stock feed. All in this group are Cucurbita moschata
Kimsey-Stephens Heirloom- 115 days- an amazing heirloom sent to us by a customer in Georgia. We planted 2 hills in an isolation garden and got almost 2000 pounds of fruit. Most weighed in between 40-50 pounds. As with all old types some shape variability from large pear to thick ribbed blocky cheese types. Productivity per acre would be phenomenal. Flesh is pale orange and very thick. Linda made our Thanksgiving pumpkin pies from a small part of one fruit. Excellent stock pumpkin. Our pigs, sheep, cow and poultry devoured the seeded out fruits. Pkt. $2.00 Certified Organic Seed UNAVAILABLE FOR 2023
100 days. Obtained in the early days of the Seed Savers Exchange one that I always thought was worthy but always gave me fits when I went to hand pollinate to get pure seed. It is one of those that does not hand pollinate well. I found a few seeds in the freezer from 1987 and sent them to Annalissa in California and she got them to grow and pronounced this the tops of squash for eating and it survives her insect and disease issues of the year around growing season quite well. Fruit ripens tan as it matures. Pkt. $2.00 .
Upper Ground Sweet Potato
Upper Ground Sweet Potato - 110 days - Extremely high yields even in poor soil and harsh conditions. Tan colored skin, bell shaped for the most part, 4 to 6 pound fruits, some larger, nice orange flesh. Some shape variations can be blocky, cheese box with an occasional longer necked, bell shaped, tan skin. Pkt. $2.75 Certified Organic Seed
All of this group are typically the same shape and are relatively small compared to some we grow. As a group these are less tolerant to vine borers and many of them will succumb to mildew in wet, cool seasons. All in this group are Cucurbita pepo
Fishers Acorn- 70 days- a development by the late Ken Fisher of Montana. On my trips back to Idaho each summer after moving to Iowa in 1984 I always hoped to get a chance to meet him as I traveled through his town but alas each year our schedules never matched up and I was never successful. He developed a lot of material for short seasons and we are trying to get more of it back out to the public. This one can produce some very large acorn type fruit in very quick time. Tends to produce 2 sizes of fruits. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic Seed
Fordhook- 80 days- the most productive squash ever. Seems to produce a fruit at every node . Flavor is only mediocre at harvest but can also be used in the young stage as a summer squash. When I first baked it last October shortly after harvest it did not seem flavorful at all. In early February when I seeded out the remainder of the crop I noticed the flesh had changed to. slightly darker yellow pale orange and so decided to try again and unlike most acorns which don't keep well and flavor goes down in storage then the flavor went up and 90% of the fruit were still in excellent shape stored in large bushel basket like containers just thrown in. A very old variety. Pkt. $1.50 Certified Organic Seed.
Gill’s Golden Pippin
Gill’s Golden Pippin- 95 days - A vining, golden acorn from the old Gill Bros. Seed Co. Excellent growth and productivity. Flesh is unbelievably superb for an acorn type. I typically don’t like acorn squash because they are too blah. Gill’s has a sweet (almost nutty) flavor that makes you go, “Yum!!!” It was prominently featured in Gill Bros. 1960 catalog and justly deserves the honor that it received at that time. I do not understand why it ever dropped out of large scale, commercial production. Good news, it is now being offered by large wholesale firms and has returned to the main stream again. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic Seed
Scarchuks Supreme- 83 days- Developed by Dr. Scarchuk at University of Connecticut, Delicata color pattern (cream striped with green). This variety is superior. Each year reminds me of what Dr. Scarchuk was working on, vine borer resistance. It does much better than most Acorn types. Pkt. $2.00 Certified Organic Seed
Winter Squash: Hubbard Types
While all that I have included here are not hubbards they are all large, blocky shaped squash. Usually as a group they have large and rampant vines and do better than most other squash in cooler mountain climates. These were tops where I lived in the mountains of Idaho for yield and flavor. Here in the Midwest they grow well but frequently succumb to vine borers and here the flavor isn’t quite the same. All are Cucurbita maxima
Arikara- 70 days- While not resistant to vine borers, it shows huge tolerances plus it can be planted so late and still make a crop. Flesh is sweet, soft (but stringy) and very moist, similar to a Hubbard. When blended in a blender it becomes extremely smooth (excellent for baby food and soup). Skin is pink and hard shelled. Some soils cause a slight bluish tint to the fruit skin. (An old Oscar Will variety)Pkt. $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Little Gem- 70 days- A golden red hubbard that grows super fast and produces lots of 8-12 pound fruit. We planted these in isolation at a friends around mid June and they were mature in mid August. When my vine crop collection of varieties got to well over 1000 back in 2007 I could no longer keep up with all of the hand pollinations and turned most over to Seed Savers for them to care for it. A recording error took place and Mountaineer got mixed name wise with Little Gem. I was fortunate enough to get a real start of Mountaineer and will have it for 2024. I thought my memory was failing me when I grew this one out and thanks to Bill Ninman for helping me locate the real thing. Pkt. $2.00 Certified Organic Seed
Winter Squash: Turban Types
All of the ones in this group are flattened with a drum like appearance , some will have a button or cup. For the most part these are all on the drier fleshed side. Most have sweet orange flesh. All are Cucurbita maxima
Winter Squash: Banana Types
This has always been one of my favorite groups. They did so well where I lived in Idaho and I remember the huge 100 pound plus sized Pink Bananas that used to be exhibited at the Nez Perce County Fair. They never get as big here in Iowa and the flavor is not as I remember it, but they are still a great addition to the garden. The big issue here is they succumb easily to vine borers. All are Cucurbita maxima.
100 days- A variety selected for darker orange fruits, but always throws an occasional pink sport. This one is a big one. We had some 70 pound fruit in 2019. We originally got this one from the Nichols Seed company back in the late 1970's. Another one that kind of slipped away from me and I found a packet from 1987 in the freezer and decided to rejuvenate it in 2019 and wow did it do well. The one in picture went all the way across the bed of my 4 wheel drive pickup. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic Seed.
100 days.Early on in the days of the Seed Savers Exchange I was an avid collector of squash varieties and this one was sent to me by the president of the American Gourd Society. I was always amazed at how large they could get. It mostly is a large very plumpy pink banana type but fruit can get a bluish cast. I have seen fruit get 80 pounds. Another rescued packet from 1987 that has been in the freezer. We are thankful to Annalissa in California for growing this one out and saving it from extinction. Pkt. $2.00
Rainbow - A wonderful, small banana squash, pinkish with blue streaks. Developed by University of Minnesota in the 1950’s. Great flavor and easy to use size. This one surprised me in 2017 planted July 3 it showed no signs of insect damage and produced abundantly. Pkt. $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Winter Squash: Cushaws and Related
This is the best group for gardeners who have lots of insect issues and also have a drier climate with less than reliable moisture and or high heat. While they are a challenge in cool seasons, they do well here in the Midwest. Flesh tends to be pale yellow. Vines can go in many directions. All are Cucurbita mixta.
Mexican Wild White Cushaw
90 days- a variety that was sent to me having been gathered in the rural parts of Mexico. I planted it in a very sandy isolation plot and it did well in low fertility and low water environment. It seemed to stay almost dormant during a dry spell and then once rain came it sprung to life and rapidly produced some 6 to 8 pound bell shaped white skinned pale fleshed squash. Pkt. $2.00 Certified Organic Seed
Mexican Wild Green Cushaw
Mexican Wild Green Cushaw- 90 days- extremely productive . In 2020 I planted it on July 6 and was treated with an abundance of fruit. Flesh is of low quality as it is primarily grown for the huge production of large silver edged seeds that are high in nutrition and a favorite of the livestock I raise. Pkt. $2.00 Certified Organic Seed
San Juan Pueblo
San Juan Pueblo- 110 days-An interesting pale tan colored cushaw. It has darker colored flesh than most cushaws and looks almost like a moschata- mixta intergrade., having many traits of both species. Ripened fruit have a high moisture content in the seed cavity. Reminds one of muskmelon with moisture around the seeds. Fruit averages about 10 pounds. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic Seed
Tennessee Sweet Potato
Tennessee Sweet Potato- 90 days- Dates to 1847. This variety kept me trying from year to year as a child. In the mountains of Idaho, I tried all of the tricks I knew. With the cool season the best I could do was golf ball size immature fruits. It matures with ease here. I spent years trying to get a fruit mature enough to taste. It is rather bland, but of great historical significance. It can survive a lot of neglect here in the Midwest and still produce a good crop. Pkt. $1.50 Certified Organic Seed
Woodrey's Sweet Potato
Woodrey's Sweet Potato- 95 days. Back in 1980 whenI first joined the Seed Savers Exchange, many older members sent me their special seeds and such to preserve for the future. Minerva was one of those people. She was from Tennessee and was so proud of her collection. This cushaw type is very productive and has several bell like shapes. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic Seed)
Winter Squash: Pumpkin Types
This group all tends to produce large fruited types great for fairs and stock feed but eating quality may not be the greatest on some. Vines can get quite large and cover huge areas. All are Cucurbita maxima and have a tough time with vine borers.
Mammoth King - 100 days - C. maxima Jess Reil of South Dakota contacted us searching for this old Gurney variety he remembered from his childhood. I too had remembered growing it, but had lost seed. There was a packet in my friend, Tom Knoche’s, freezer storage that I inherited. Even though the packet was almost 30 years old, Jess was able to get a crop and we are happy to get it back into circulation again. Fruits can get to 60 lbs and are thick fleshed. Works great for stock feed as well. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic Seed
Rouge V’if D’Etampes
Rouge V’if D’Etampes- 100 days- Listed here, though most companies now list it as Cinderella under pumpkins. There was already a pumpkin with that name, therefore we will keep this very old French pumpkin/squash with its proper scientific classification. Fruits can weigh up to 50 pounds and are flattened orange-red. Pkt. $2.50
Winter Squash: Unique Types
The ones listed here just don’t fit well into any of the categories that we have set up. That doesn’t make them less worthy, but just more unusual. There are some members in all species.
Ithanga- 110 days- C. moschata . A unique variety sent to us back in 2001 by Mike Beahm who spent a week with the Zulu tribe of South Africa and they presented him with this delicious productive small squash. It has taken us awhile to get it replicated and out to the public ( too many projects, too little time). Our dear friends Joel and Teri Schroeder grew this seed crop for us as it is one of their favorites. Their family lived nearby for years and their poor children grew up taste testing the over 700 varieties of squash in my collection. They find the size for( just the two of them now) and flavor of this one great. You can see the fruit turns orange tan as it ripens in storage. Pkt. $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Quality - C. maxima A refined Green Delicious type, dry fleshed. One of the first seeds I obtained from Robert Kennedy in the early 1980’s when I first joined the Seed Savers Exchange. He had saved so many good, old varieties. I’ll always be grateful for the large number of varieties he saved. This squash does well here for a maxima type. They stand up to the late infestations of cucumber beetles well and get a hard enough skin to still keep well. Pkt $2.50 Certified Organic Seed
Yakima Marblehead- 100 days- C.maxima- a old variety very popular in the northwest when I was a child in the 1960's. I remember going to the produce department of the IGA store to get the lettuce leaves and scrap produce for my poultry and see these large sometimes 40-60 pound squash sitting back there . In those days they cut them up and sold chunks in the produce counter. They are a slate blue color and medium dry flesh. A true old time variety. Pkt. $2.50 Certified Organic See