Celebrating Diversity Among Heirloom Squash

By Tonya Barnett | July 5, 2021
Image by ShannonKwok
by Tonya Barnett
July 5, 2021

Winter squash have long been among my absolute favorite plants to grow in the garden. Despite the fact that my growing space is quite small, I always find myself ordering several packets of cucurbits

Ranging greatly in size, shape, color, and distinctive growth characteristics, heirloom squash are a true celebration of diversity in the garden. A majority of gardeners are able to easily find an ideal candidate for growing one in their own yards. One of my most loved squash, “Galeux D’eysines“ has often been the topic of discussion of visitors to my space. 

Backyard Gathering

Several years ago, I invited some friends to my house for a small backyard cookout. That week, I had made certain to weed the garden and clear the pathways of any debris so that visitors could easily mingle among the plants, should they choose. Aside from the usual cuisine, I took the time to prepare a homemade pumpkin pie. Though it had required some additional effort, I knew that the ripe Galeux D’eysines squash that I had recently harvested would be absolutely delicious.

That evening, once dinner was finished, a colleague ventured into the garden. She mentioned that she had always wanted to grow her own food. Of course, I wanted nothing more than to encourage her to do so. Carefully, she smelled the roses and gently plucked a few tomatoes to take home. Then, she came upon the small pumpkin hill.

Unusual or Ugly?

Upon hearing her gasp, I immediately rushed over to see what was wrong. “That is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen!” she exclaimed, while pointing at the largest Galeux D’eysines squash in the patch. Immediately, I began to ramble on and on about its adaptability and interesting attributes. As we walked back to the table, we “agreed to disagree” about the pumpkin’s beauty. 

Best Pumpkin Pie

Just as the sun set, I brought the freshly made pumpkin pie outside to the group. From the first bite to the last, I couldn’t help but appreciate the pie’s smooth and delicate texture. It is for this reason that Galeux D’eysines squash remains as the one which I nearly always use in baking and in desserts. 

As I glanced over, I noticed my friend finishing the last bite. After begging for the recipe, I joked that I wasn’t able to share my secret ingredient – those ugly pumpkins! 

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