Delicata Zeppelin

Crop: Squash (Cucurbita pepo)

Use/Type: Standard

Breeder: Frank Morton Wild Garden Seed

OSSI Pledge Date: 4/17/2014

Release Date: 4/17/2014

Bred for Organic Systems: Yes

Commercial Availability: Yes

Variety Type: Finished Variety


“Have any other fresh market growers had a dreaded case of “bitter poison Delicatas?” GTF’s padrone, John Eveland, had more than one market customer approach him in autumn of 2000 with terrifying accounts of throat clenching bitterness from a single bite of his perfect Delicata squash. The victims were so emphatic, the threat of legal action so palpable, that John began calling every Delicata source in the country to find out exactly where his seed came from, and to make sure he didn’t plant seed from the same lot again. Turns out, every dealer in the USA had seed from the same field in Colorado, and this huge lot was very slightly contaminated by the bitterness gene found in C. pepo gourds. Perhaps one bitter squash in several thousand…What to do? John had kept his own Delicata seed from 1988 thru 1994 (when he went over to buying commercial seed). We went into the freezer to find his old selection, and used this for stock seed in 2001. We found the fruits longer and more uniform, finer textured, sweeter, and significantly longer keeping than other strains. Other local farmers report the same. We’ve never had a report of a bitter squash from this line. Not one. We have concentrated on making this the best long-keeping Delicata you can find. While no pepo-type squash will ever keep like a Hubbard or other maxima-type, we believe that ‘Zeppelin’ is the only Delicata you will still be eating in mid-January. Buttery-cream colored with longitudinal green stripes, fruits weigh 1 to 2 lbs, up to 6 good fruits per plant. Skin is tender enough to eat, the flesh is thick, a rich orange color, with a higher average brix than other available strains. As we say every time we eat it, this is good Delicata. Rock ’n’ Roll Delicata, in fact.”

Availability from OSSI Seed Company Partners