Sitting at the edge of the garden picking lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, or beans; big, bright, bold, beautiful squash blossoms perfume the air with the promise of more squash to come.
Lakota squash was developed from seeds obtained by the University from Nebraska's Fort Robinson, once a prairie Cavalry post, later an agricultural site, now a National Park. The variety it was derived from is no longer in cultivation. It had been grown by Native American peoples along the Missouri Valley for centuries before the arrival of Europeans to the continent. This indigenous squash was also cultivated by the troops stationed at Nebraska's Forts Atkinson and Robinson, and by early Nebraska settlers.
Since my maternal gardening roots go back several generations to the family farm in Nebraska and include Native American ancestors, the heritage of this squash spoke to me. I had to try it in my first veggie bed in more than five years.
Besides being delicious, winter squash is a nutritional powerhouse high in nutrients such as vitamins A, and C, potassium, manganese, folic acid and other B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, and low in fat. In addition, properly cut from the vine, cured, and stored under the right cool, dry conditions with space between them for air circulation, winter squash can be stored for several months.
When ripe, the twins will be deep orange and green. Lakota squash is described as having a sweet, smooth, nutty flavor, similar to Red Kuri, which I love.
If I hadn't tried Red Kuri squash a couple years ago and then couldn't find it anywhere again, I might not have a veggie garden this summer. I can hardly wait to try these squash, and the Red Kuri too!