Collecting Seeds (Walthum Butternut Squash)

I am a huge fan of squash. I love their bizarre physical features, the way they stretch their long limbs around the garden, and of course I really enjoy their unique flavor.

When we had our first garden here on Orchard we grew Walthum Butternut Squash and it was a prolific producer, not to mention absolutely delicious! At that point I thought I had figured out how to grow squash and attempted a few different varieties over the course of a few growing seasons. I simply did not have the luck I had with the Walthum and decided it was time to go back to the old standby.

As usual we ordered our seeds from The Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. We decided this year that we were going to trellis our winter squash as well and that was a huge help in regards to space and quality of produce.

Saving seed from winter squash is actually very easy. Simply cut the vegetable in half and scoop out the seed. Remove as much of the flesh from the seed by hand as you can. Afterwards run the seeds under water to separate the remaining pulp and dry them. I found that as much as I tried to dry them they remained a bit slippery. Once the seeds have been dried place them on a paper plate to soak up any additional moisture and set them out for two weeks to dry. I put them on the dining room table under the ceiling fan for some air circulation to cut down on the possibility of mold. Once the seeds are dried place them in an envelope and store them in your fridge for the winter.

Best of luck!

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


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