'Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato' Squash
Origin: Kirksville, Missouri
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~20
Germination tested 11/2023: 96%
Life cycle: Annual
This unique and incredibly productive heirloom rightfully earns its nickname as the "Sweet Potato Squash." It has smooth, sweet, nutty flesh that is incredibly delicious and allows it to serve many roles in the kitchen (although the flavor does get watered down in very wet years). It has large, acorn-shaped fruits with a light tan skin. The vines are incredibly vigorous, so it needs a lot of space, but each plant produces an immense amount of fruit, yielding double most squash cultivars in variety trials run by Dylan Bruce of Circadian Organics in southwest Wisconsin, who produced this seed. It is a Slow Food Ark of Taste variety, and has rightfully earned its place on the list. Originally from Thelma Sanders of Kirksville, Missouri, the seed was passed from Evert Pettit to Sue and Tom Knoche, noted Ohio squash collectors, each among the earliest members of Seed Savers Exchange. This has become a treasured heirloom across the country.