Cousaw Pumpkins . . . dine on the queen of Creek agricultural genius

It is the indigenous Crooked Neck Pumpkin, developed from Native Wild Squash by the Highland Creeks (Coosas)

As usual, most of the explanations on the internet of this Queen of the Squash Family are written by people who know next to nothing about the plant or the Creek Indians. Coushaw is the phonetic English spelling for Kvsv . . . the Coosa or Upper Creeks. It is also very close to the Georgia Creek and Itsa Maya word for pumpkin, kvse (kaase in Itza).

Cousaw and Indian corn meal were the key ingredients of Creek cuisine in Georgia. Since they could be dried and ground into flour, they were consumed year round. Coushaw can be used in any dish calling for pumpkin, winter squash or sweet potatoes. The flesh has a high fructose and Vitamin C/antioxidant content. Coushaw was mixed with corn meal to make up for the lack of gluten in corn meal. Creek cooks baked them fresh, plus used them liberally for cooking pumpkin bread, tamales, corn fritters, soups, sauces and stews. The shells were also scooped out and dried to be used like giant gourds or molds for pottery.

You can preserve these giant squashes by cutting them up into sections and either drying them in a dehydrator or freezing them.

I make several types of soup with the Coushaw. With this rampant inflation, I can’t afford to eat out much, so I am learning to make Creek style soups to give variety to my lunches.

When heavily fertilized and irrigated, the Coushaw is capable of enormous size in hot, humid late summer weather. The record is about 2,200 pounds by an Indiana farmer. However, in its native habitat of the Southern Highlands, the fruits can grow quite large with very little care, up to 24 pounds or more. I sold my largest Cousaws to people driving past my house, when I was harvesting. I still have 15 left, which vary from 1.7 lbs. to 10 lbs. They sell for $1.30/lb.

I apologize for the limited availability, but this year’s crop was an experiment to see how well it grew in my volcanic soil. This winter, I will be clearing land and building more terraces, so many more will be available in 2023.

You can contact me at PeopleOfOneFire@aol.com to make an appointment to buy one.

5 Comments

  1. They make good candy, as well. Down here, calabacita and chilacayote are the best. Both can outgrow squash borers (a native here), like the heat, the dry air, and the chilacayote will cover trees if allowed. Calabacita sprawl, and run everywhere. niio

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t grow they yellow squash. They turn into mush, when you freeze them and really don’t have much nutrition anyway. During growing season, they are cheap at the farmers market. In contrast, the members of the winter squash family are just busting with vitamins, fiber and nutriently.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah! For summer squash, I like calabacita, a winter squash Aka at Baker’s Creek, tatume). Summer squash are disgusting. Our other squash is chilacayote. winter squash are resistant to borers, which is mandatory down here. I did lose some vines but everyone has this year.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to alekmountain Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.