Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Diary of a Locavore: Save the Boston Marrow Squash!

If you live in the Boston area and are looking for a unique and tasty new dish to serve up at Thanksgiving, why not try the “deep-orange, finely-grained and excellent flavored”1 Boston Marrow Squash?

Oh, right. Because they’re nearly impossible to find. Good point, well-made.

Elspeth Pierson, of DiaryofaLocavore.com, wants everyone to know that we can save the squash, if we decide to do so. But we must act quickly.

I visited farmers’ market after market, farm stand after stand, and to no avail. The Boston Marrow squash truly is disappearing.

But there is one less tangible place I’ve encountered it. Tucked between the careful pages of local food author Gary Nabhan’s book, Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods, there it was. In bright and glossy orange, it jumped from the page with startling statistics. Brought to popularity in the mid-1800s, the squash can now be found from only two commercial seed companies: D. Landreth Seed and Heritage Harvest Seed.

Even one of the companies Nabhan lists in his book as one of the last to sell the seeds no longer does. Those have been hard to get for a while, now, the friendly operator informed me. We stopped carrying them a few years back. It’s no surprise, then, that the squash are disappearing from our dinner tables.

The time to save the squash, if we decide too, is now. That’s the easy part, of course. You simply order the seeds instead of Hubbard or butternut, and nurse the tiny seedlings through the spring. A year from now, you’ll serve your friends a stunning pie or soup or autumn gratin, and they’ll wonder at the magnificent taste. It won’t be hard at all to do, you simply have to choose to.

Read the whole article here. There’s even a recipe for stewed Boston Marrow “pumpkin”!


  1. Gary Paul Nabhan, Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods (White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008), 130.


The Etymology of Stock and Broth

Question: When you make soup, do you start with stock or broth? Answer: It depends. Rachael Mamane answers that question and others in Mastering Stocks and Broths, the definitive and most comprehensive guide on stocks, broths, and how to prepare and use them. As a special treat to celebrate the book launch, we’ve got an excerpt […] Read More

How well do you know your charcuterie?

Prosciutto. Andouille. Country ham. The extraordinary rise in popularity of cured meats in recent years often overlooks the fact that the ancient practice of meat preservation through the use of salt, time, and smoke began as a survival technique. All over the world, various cultures developed ways to extend the viability of the hunt—and later […] Read More

4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More

Is My Broth (or Stock) Bad?

Are you planning to start the GAPS diet or any other diet aimed at boosting gut health this year? If so, chances are that stocks and broths are critical components. Even if you’re not changing the way you eat, but you often have pots of aromatic goodness bubbling on your stove, you may have wondered, […] Read More

A Simple Way to Grow Fresh Greens Indoors This Winter

Just because the temperatures have started to drop doesn’t mean you have to live without fresh greens until Spring. Author and gardener Peter Burke’s innovative method of growing soil sprouts indoors can help you grow nutrient-dense greens all year long at a fraction of the cost of buying at market. Burke’s book, Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening, is […] Read More
+1
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin