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 2 of 11 for 64 listings

The Long Grey Line Farm LLC

  Fort White, FL    LocalHarvest Sponsor!

We are a natural farm and have not used herbicides for 49 years. Our Belted Galloway and BueLingo beef cattle are raised on pasture with hay that we harvest and are fed some pellets each day just to keep them friendly. We offer beef for sale several times a year, by whole, half or quarter. (more...)

Sweet Roots Organic Farm

  Newberry, FL

Sweet Roots Organic Farm is a certified organic family farm in the Jonesville area of Gainesville, FL. We grow in-season vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers and sell via our CSA and our drive-thru farm market on Saturday mornings 9am - noon. Check out our website for what's in-season and available. See you in the drive-thru!(more...)

Stillwater Valley Farm

  Jamestown, NY

We are young farmers who live on a historic, falling-apart old farm. It was previously farmed by at least 4 generations of family before us, but had been out of farming use for many years before we started again. We are now selling out of relatively new market house, which we have had in use for the past 4 seasons. (more...)

State of Harmony Farm

  Sanford, FL

We Are A Local Farm Using Organic Pratices. No Pesticides, No Chemicals, No GMO's. We grow a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as herbs (culinary and medicinal). We have over 50 pastured chickens for eggs and also raise meat chickens. We have several heritage turkeys and always have some available for Thanksgiving. (more...)

Sharon's Natural Gardens

  Delmar, DE

We have been here since 1978, never using any chemicals or commercial manures. We use no GMOS or hybrid seeds. We began biodynamics in 1990. I am not Demeter certified. I believe the farmer should be the certifier as well as educator... not some outside group that has never experienced the farm . (more...)

Scharko Farms

  Fairburn, GA    LocalHarvest Sponsor!

Farming and Helping Others Farm. We are small family farm,where we grow vegetables, flowers and herbs for our use and for sale. Our plants are grown in a natural way, avoiding pesticides, as we strive to make our farm more sustainable. We have produce available at the Peachtree City Farmers market, Saturdays ,9am to 1pm. . (more...)