How to Grow Winter Squash Organically
Winter squashes are members of the Cucurbitaceae family and relatives of both the melon and the cucumber.
Winter squashes like butternut or pumpkin have hard shells that are difficult to pierce, enabling them to have long storage periods under the right conditions, making them an essential crop for anyone trying to grow a lot of their own food.
History of Growing Winter Squash
Modern day squash developed from wild squash that originated in an area between Guatemala and Mexico. While squash has been grown and eaten for over 10,000 years, they were first cultivated specifically for their nutritious seeds because early squash did not contain much flesh, and what they did contain was very bitter.
As time progressed, squash cultivation spread throughout the Americas, and varieties with a greater quantity of sweeter-tasting flesh were developed. Christopher Columbus brought squash back to Europe, and like many other native American foods, their cultivation was introduced throughout the world by Portuguese and Spanish conquerers.
Winter Squash Varieties
Today, there are hundreds of beautiful varieties of winter squash, and the largest commercial producers include China, Japan, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Egypt, and Argentina.
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