Seminole Pumpkin

More Information:

  • Slow Food USA
  • Map of Growers
  • Find Growers by State:

The Seminole Pumpkin is an important product for the Miccosukee, or Creek people and the Seminole people. The Miccosukee name for this product is "chassa howitska" meaning "hanging pumpkin". The reference is to the method by which the pumpkin grows, as the Seminole and the Miccosukee people would plant the pumpkin seeds at the base of girdled trees, so that the pumpkin vines would grow up the trunk, and the pumpkin fruit would grow to be hanging from the bare limbs. It was under cultivation by Seminole people before Spaniards arrived in Florida in the 1500s. Immigrants to Florida also adopted this cultivation method, producing hundreds of pumpkins per acre.

The Seminole Pumpkin is a pear-shaped or spherical pumpkin with an incredibly hard shell or rind. The rind is so hard that it must be broken with an ax. The rind is a deep gold to light salmon and pinkish buff color. Inside, the flesh is thick and beige, with a fine-grained texture that is sometimes described as powdery.

The Seminole Pumpkin has a highly esteemed flavor, not only among the Seminole and Miccosukee people, but also among Caucasian Floridians. Of the many traditional recipes developed for its use, Seminole pumpkin "bread" is so highly regarded that it is still featured during tribal ceremonies and at a tribal-owned restaurant. The 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 heirloom variety, many people now substitute canned pumpkin, meaning they are unable to achieve the same flavor results.

The Seminole 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, insects, and powdery mildew on its own. For instance, its silver haired leaves, under the intense sun of the tropics, create an almost shiny reflectance that deters the activity of insect pests. Amy Goldman describes the vines as "irrepressible" after witnessing them survive an assault by squash bugs and winds from rainstorms that devastated other squash varieties.

Click here to see the original nomination form

Showing page 1 of 12 for 70 listings

Wild Apple Farms

  Dexter, MI

Wild Apple Farms was founded to provide a simple, honest, old world link to the past with natural and organic, artistic, ecologically inspired ways of today. Where the ancient meets the future. And the present...benefits. Our farm has free range eggs, raw honey, a full herbal/medicinal apothecary, artisan soaps, Dexter Granola Co. (more...)

W.D. Dickinson - Farm

  National City, CA

W.D. Dickinson Farm is a small plot urban farm on the historic W.D. Dickinson homestead; located in San Diego South Bay, we are veteran founded, owned & operated. At the Farm we organically grow heirloom fruit, vegetables & herbs. (more...)

Val's Veggies

  Baker City, OR

We have 16 acres in vegetable production and the rest is in hay, grain, and pasture. We are beginning our 11th year of CSA and love it. We also do farmers market in LaGrande OR and Baker City Or,and a farmstand on Campbell St. in Baker City open 5 days a week . (more...)

Urban Vegetable Project

  Miami, FL

We grow fresh produce using organic methods in the heart of urban Miami. We are a biodiverse farm in pursuit of our organic certification. We grow all types of vegetables that thrive in South Florida (Zone 10B). We sell produce directly to the customer through a CSA program. More info can be found on our website. (more...)

Twin Arcs Farm

  Mount Airy, NC

Twin Arcs Farm is a standalone blend of agricultural antiquity and new-fashioned farming techniques. We are stewards of the land. We harmonize with the Earth by caring for the health and well-being of the plants and animals while reaping the benefits of this loving relationship. (more...)

Turkey Hill Farm

  Tallahassee, FL    LocalHarvest Sponsor!

At Turkey Hill Farm we grow vegetables and fruits for market and select local restaurants. In Fall, Winter and Spring we grow Lettuces, traditional Southern greens, Asian greens, arugula, carrots, turnips, Brassicas, radishes, scallions, green garlic, turmeric, ginger, and Satsumas. (more...)