Landracing Moschata Squash in the Missouri Ozarks


I’ve been creating a moschata squash landrace adapted to the Ozarks over the last five years or so. I’ve gotten genetics from a number of sources, including several varieties from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, several from Commonwealth Seeds that were bred by Edmund Frost who specializes in breeding disease tolerant squash for hot, humid climates, some Baker Creek Varieties, and more recently, seed from a farm near me called Mountain Jewel that’s doing their own squash landracing project, as well as some Lofthouse Landrace Moschata. I’ve selected for flavor and yield leaving a mix of wide diversity. Landracing has definitely increased the yield and reliability of the plants. Before landracing, even with the moschata varieties that I had the best success with, I’d lose a certain amount of the plants before they ripened and fruit. That rarely happens anymore. This year, I got a great yield despite extreme heat/drought in July. I was watering some but not a whole lot, and the plants looked kind of sad for a bit, but they rebounded quickly when the weather turned more to their liking for late summer/fall.

I’d like to share/exchange seed from these and several other landrace projects that I’ll share soon, that’s why I got in this group. I notice however that a lot of people here are from short, cool season areas and would likely not have success with most of the genetics in the landrace. Some need the full season in Missouri to fully mature. There’s a decent amount of tropical moschata genetics in here. Since I like to harvest in the fall and not worry about earlier harvests, my selection favors those that mature in the fall from an early/mid May planting. These would probably be best suited to others in hot, humid climates, although anywhere with at least 120 frost-free days would be worth a shot. and I’d be interested in hearing how they do.

Its still unclear to me how this group is planning on facilitating seed sharing, is it purely for landracers to find each other and do their own sharing, or are people planning on creating some sort of centralized distribution.

I’ve grown these moschatas interplanted with corn, leaving generally 8-foot gap between corn rows where I place the rows of squash.

The full diversity of the seeds from this year’s harvest wouldn’t be available until the spring, as seeds are saved and collected from the good quality ones over the next six months as the squash are being used.

Here’s a picture of some of the moschatas, the ones that were fully ready in late September,



Fun, and looks good! I am having some success with the tropical Green Ayote Squash as an addition to my grex in Montana. In Montana I have found some success with seed from people further south especially when they had already incorporated some Lofthouse genetics into their landrace. I do sometimes get 120 day or longer growing seasons too. I think sometimes I end up harvesting them and saving their seeds before they are perfectly fully mature- but I still get another generation and then further adaptation. I’ve been tossing some Moschata seed I could have saved this year into the compost because it 1. didn’t meet my goals, and 2. didn’t look like great quality seed. Sometimes I do get a compost squash from such things but usually that is the end of it.

Here are the rest, I harvested these just a week ago in advance of a freeze.


That’s a beautiful landrace. Good job!

I’d be interested in trading C. Moschata seeds if that interests you. My mix parentage was: Magic Cushaw, South Ana, Mrs. Amberson’s, Waltham, and more. I’m in 7b, Western NC, Blue Ridge Mountains. I’ll put my address in my profile.

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Or rather, I’ll just PM you.

I didn’t see an answer to this in reply, so just in case you missed the big swap, or someone else stumbles upon this thread:

So far we’re doing one big pooled-seed swap per year, where everyone sends in their seed in fall/winter. This year (winter 2022/2023) was great, and next year we are considering doing more categories to potentially include climate, resistance, etc though that’s not yet for certain.

Seed that didn’t get taken by the members of the swap may be further available this spring.

Meanwhile, if you want to jump right into seed sharing, @UnicornEmily is coordinating a seed train here as of this writing: Serendipity Seed Swap!

And! It’s still possible to order seeds, there are plenty. I believe that Anna has started shipping out again. Now is a good time to order because around/after February 11th we’ll be doing some more outreach and likely to sell out of some of them.