Squashes were once too large, too bitter, and too seedy for humans to stomach. But mastodons had different tastes, giant molars, and bigger guts. Their stature also had a huge impact on the soil, creating disturbances that were ideal squash habitat. After the megafauna faded, it was humans who created a niche in their gardens in which squash could survive.
This delightful mini butternut was bred at Cornell University. It's a butternut for the smaller garden and the modest appetite. These little plants produce miniature butternut squashes, much more squat than the standard, but with excellent flavor and texture. A treat for those who thought they couldn't fit a winter squash into their gardens.
Artwork by Valerie Lueth.