EXCLUSIVE! The Miccosukee name for this rare pumpkin is "chassa howitska" meaning "hanging pumpkin". The reference is to the method by which the pumpkin was grown. The Seminole and the Miccosukee people would plant the pumpkin seeds at the base of girdled trees. The pumpkin vines would grow up the trunk of these trees and the pumpkin fruit would grow to be hanging down from the bare branches and limbs. Immigrants to Florida also adopted this cultivation method, producing hundreds of pumpkins per acre. It was under cultivation by the Seminole Indians when Spaniards arrived in Florida in the 1500s. The Seminole Indian Pumpkin is an important product for the Miccosukee, or Creek and Seminole people.Seminole Indian Pumpkins often vary in shape and size and have an incredibly hard shell or rind. The rind is a deep gold to light salmon color. Inside, the flesh is thick and orange with a fine-grained texture and a delicious taste similar to acorn or butternut squash.The Seminole Indian Pumpkin possess qualities that make it superior to any other squash or pumpkin that gardeners have attempted to cultivate in southern Florida. The ecological adaptations of this variety allow it to tolerate heat, drought, vine boars and powdery mildew on its own. Its silver haired leaves, under the intense sun of the tropics, create an almost shiny reflectance that deters the activity of insect and pests. The vines are "irrepressible" after witnessing them survive an assault by squash bugs and winds from rainstorms that devastated other squash varieties. This pumpkin is well-adapted to the Southern climate and is tolerant to both dry and rainy extremes.
This pumpkin has a highly esteemed flavor among the Seminole and Miccosukee people. Seminole pumpkin "bread" is so highly regarded that it is still featured during tribal ceremonies and at tribal-owned restaurants. Seminole Pumpkin bread is much more like a fritter or empanada than bread, and has been adopted by the wider Florida community, including other tribes of the Southeast. Unfortunately, due to the precipitous decline in cultivation of this rare heirloom variety, many people now substitute canned pumpkin, meaning they are unable to achieve the same flavor and results.
The traditional cultivation method of the Seminole Pumpkin (below a nurse tree) is one of the best examples of indigenous permaculture currently surviving in North America. Should this cultivation method be put into practice and in greater use, this product is an ideal candidate for sustainable production. Furthermore, the Seminole Indian pumpkin has all the necessary qualities of drought, insect and mildew resistance and heat tolerance required for a revival in its homeland in the Everglades, should Native Americans and non Native Americans alike commit themselves to bringing it back from the brink of extinction.This Seminole "Cinderella" Pumpkin strain has been carefully selected and maintained by Florida seed steward Mark Homesteader of Homestead Heirloom Gardens.
Around 20 seeds per packet.
SKU: SEED-SEMINOLE PUMPKIN