(photo credit: www.rareseeds.com)
I am thrilled with this squash.
I've been organic gardening for years. It wasn't until I moved to North Carolina that I realized what a huge bummer squash bugs and borers could be. If one isn't laying a gazillion eggs on every leaf of your squash plants, the other is burrowing in and eating it from the inside. It stinks (literally) and a small infestation of either can destroy a bed of squash. Last year I began a hunt to conquer the little devils. I believe I have won, at least in the area of zucchini and pumpkin. Yes, this is a two in one heirloom that is sure to impress.
Whether you are a backyard gardener or a sustainable urban farming enthusiast, you will appreciate what these little guys bring to the table. Let's take a look at 5 reasons I think you should give Seminole Pumpkins a try:
2.The fruit is versatile. From one vine, you can harvest both summer and winter squash. When picked young they look like large 8 ball zucchinis, and can be used just like you would a zucchini. For someone who had trouble growing them for the past several years, this was great news! When left on the vine they mature into smallish orange fleshed pumpkins that are sweet and fleshy- Almost a mix between butternut and pie pumpkin.
3. The squash is delicious. Picked immature and green, around 4-6 inches in diameter, it tastes much like a zucchini. However, it is noticeably lacking in the common zucchini bitterness, and instead has a crunchy sweeter taste- perfect for a raw veggie platter. I remember being pleasantly surprised when cutting into one, that it had an orange hue to it. Say hello to our nutrient friend, Beta-Carotene! I personally just loved the size and shape of the "zucchini" stage slices. We sometimes make raw or cooked vegetable lasagnas, and these round slices are perfect for making little personal sized dishes. When they mature to pumpkins the sweet orange flesh is just excellent for pies or as roasted squash. Excellent I say!
4. The vines grow anywhere. Or so it seems. Last year we had a drought and a new baby, so my garden never received the water it needed. Seminole prevailed above all the other squash. This year we have, what, like a 15 inch excess of rain? They are simply prolific. We have bugs, deer and rodents eating my heirloom melons, but the Seminole remains strong.
5. This variety requires a long season. This is actually good news! If you're in the north, these plants do take a little longer to produce- So if in August your early zucchini plants are running out of steam, you could enjoy a new wave with this fresh variety. By October, if the weather cooperates, you could enjoy some lovely little unique pumpkins. If you're in the South, these are perfect. Aside from actually being able to grow organic "zucchini", the long season allows the pumpkins to fully mature. I've read from the experience of others that when the pumpkin is left on the vine an appropriate amount of time, and stored correctly, they can remain good for up to a year. That, my friends, is amazing.
I hope this review encourages you to try out the Seminole Pumpkin. Growing your own vegetables can be fun and rewarding- Especially when you know your family can then enjoy peak freshness, taste & nutrition from your own backyard. Heirloom varieties are especially rewarding because eating them provides nutrient variety not common in a supermarket diet, and growing them helps preserve their existence. It's good for you and the earth.
You can order seed and learn more from two of my favorite seed companies:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company: Rareseeds.com
Sand Hill Preservation Center: Sandhillpreservation.com
Do you have a garden? Have you tried any heirloom varieties that have impressed you?