Lakota Squash - A forgotten treasure
Where did Lakota Squash Originate
Lakota Squash originated in the Native American tribes of the Missouri Valley, including the Lakota's from whom it got its name.
Its introduction into the gardens of white settlers has a short and very traceable past.. As early as 1820 soldiers at Fort Atkinson in Nebraska are documented as growing the squash and storing it for the winter.
In the 1870's soldiers in the newly founded Fort Robinson across the state begged for some seeds from from Fort Atkinson and the squash's production among settlers actually doubled.
How Did Lakota Squash Evolve
An employee of Fort Atkinson, Alford Lossi, took some of the seeds and gave them to his sister Martha Newman . Martha Newman grew the seeds for years and gave some to a man who went to AG. He donated them to the University of Nebraska.
Those seeds are the ancestors of the ones we grow today.
As Martha Newman grew her Lakota squash over the years, they deviated from the original that were grown at Fort Atkinson, most probably because of cross pollination with her Hubbard Squash. By the time they reached the University of Nebraska they were different from the original squash grown by Native Americans.
Plant Breeders Try to Find A Close Match
The University of Nebraska worked to breed a stable variety that was as close to the original squash planted by the Native Americans. They bred a similar variety that we can buy and grow today.
How to Grow Lakota Squash
Lakota squash as we know it today, grows in well drained airy soil with lots of sunlight. They spread so either give them lot of room or trellis them or let them climb on a fence.
They mature in 85-105 days.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 24, 2021:
Like Linda, I have never heard of Lakota squash. I am sure that there are many varieties less commonly known. Thanks for the introduction to this one.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 24, 2021:
I’ve never heard of Lakota squash before. Thank you for introducing me to it.