Squash originated in Central America and Mexico. Wild squash was bitter and was originally used as cups and bottles around 13,000 BC. People started farming squash around 10,000 and created tastier sweeter varieties. Hundreds of different varieties are grown for food and for their seeds around the world. Winter squash gets sweeter the longer you store it!!
To save seeds that are true to type-these plants must be 800 feet- 1/2 mile away from all other varieties of the Cucurbita species that you are growing . You can harvest viable seeds from one plant. You need 5-10 plants for variety maintenance and you only need 25 plants or more for genetic preservation.
You can learn more about how to plant and save squash seeds here
The varieties that are currently available for everyone who is willing to grow them for food and seeds from the KASSI Living Seed Commons are listed in alphabetical order below. The date indicates when it was first offered in North America.
- Butternut (Cucurbita moschata) light tan bottle shape with thick necks, shorter deep organ flesh 1880s
- Early Yellow Crookneck (Cucurbita pepo)- a summer squash that is best eaten small, smooth, tender 1700s
- Sibley (Cucurbita maxima) large Hubbard -type, slate bluish skin, orange flesh, cooks quickly 1887