'Winter Luxury Pie' Pumpkin
Origin: Philadelphia, PA
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~18
Germination tested 12/2021: 84%
Life cycle: Annual
Many people consider 'Winter Luxury Pie' to be the best pumpkin pie pumpkin in the world. The flesh is sweet, richly flavored, and smoothly textured. At first glance, it looks like a slightly paler version of the average orange pumpkin, but on closer inspection it reveals a fine off-white netting on the skin, similar to a cantaloupe. The resulting golden-orange appearance makes this a really handsome pumpkin, and the shape is pretty darn perfect for Jack O'Lanterns too. This squash is not noted as a long-keeper, but we're hoping someone takes it on as a project to develop a longer-keeping version of this excellent fruit.
Introduced 1893 by Philadelphia's Johnson & Stokes Company (which still exists as Stokes Seeds), our strain comes to us via Restoration Seeds from the late plant-breeding legend Jonathan Spero of Lupine Knoll Farm in Grants Pass, Oregon, where these seeds were grown.
We first took an interest in this variety in early 2020, while processing seed donations for free distribution with the Cooperative Gardens Commission (CGC) project. In the same week we heard the news of Jonathan's untimely passing (just a few weeks after he had volunteered to help with CGC), we received a donation of seeds from Siskiyou Seeds that included a small bag of 'Winter Luxury' seeds labeled "Grower: Jonathan Spero." It was a bittersweet moment, knowing that he would never grow this treasured squash again, but that thanks to him it would continue spreading joy wherever it goes. He was clearly an evangelist for this squash, and a major force behind its resurgence in the seed industry. It's just one part of his important legacy.
GROWING TIPS: Grow as you would any other pumpkin. Hand-pollinate to keep it from crossing with other C. pepo varieties (including zucchini, patty pan, crookneck, and other orange pumpkins).