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© 1992, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Pumpkin and squash are American members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae. Cucumbers, originally from India, muskmelons from the Middle East, and watermelons from Africa are other members of this important family of vine crops. Squash, like corn, was domesticated by Indians of Central America and spread to the 48 contiguous states of the United tates before the arrival of Columbus. Squash was among the first vegetables to be planted in Nebraska.

These crops can be used in many ways. The quick-growing, tender-skinned summer squash, when harvested and used while still immature, are delicious either steamed and buttered or sliced and baked with onions, bacon, tomato suace and Italian seasoning. Pumpkin usually has finer-textured flesh than squash and is better for pies and custard. Squash or pumpkin pulp is a good ingredient for preparing moist quick breads.