The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin project
I'm proud to be an Ambassador and Coordinator for the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project that is sponsored by The Long Island Regional Seed Consortium. Our mission is to bring awareness of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin and to advocate for the dynamic use of this regional pumpkin across a coalition of chefs, growers, schools, and eaters.
The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin disappeared commercially from seed catalogs in the 1970’s due to the modernization and industrialization of farming. This seed was collected and saved by a local seed saver, Ken Ettlinger and the pumpkin is being grown at a few farms currently, but it is not widely utilized or even known about on Long Island.
The mission of The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project is to preserve, restore, and bring awareness of this local Long Island variety.
We envision reclamation and adoption of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin into the culinary vernacular. Widespread appreciation and cultivation of this local variety will lead to local seed saving that fosters terroir.
We believe in empowering people to communicate and champion to their constituents the culinary use of this regional variety and foster collaboration and transparency among groups for the common cause of initiating a true regional “brand”.
To support this effort we have created a logo and theme graphic that is to be used by our coalition and any other individual or organization that is willing to take The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project pledge: to grow, revitalize, and preserve the culinary use of this heirloom squash.
North Fork Table and Inn, Southold, NY, Cookshop, New York, NY, Chef Chris Singlemann, Watermill Catering, Invincible Summer Farms, Southold, NY, Laura Luciano, Out East Foodie, Hallockville Museum Farm, Riverhead, NY, Slow Food East End, Edible School Gardens, Amagansett Food Institute, Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Restoration Farm, Old Bethpage Village, Bayard Cutting Arboretum CSA Farm, Hudson Valley Seed Library, Milk Pail Farm, Watermill, NY, Derek DiGuglielmo - Eat Local NY, NE Ark of Taste
Take the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Pledge
- Grow: Whether you are a home gardener, planting for an edible school garden or chef's kitchen you can order seeds at Salt of the Earth Seed Company.
- Ask your Farmer to grow the cheese pumpkin. It is the best pumpkin for pie!
- Cook: Everyone loves to use this squat, cheese-rind like shape pumpkin as a fall decoration on porches and table scapes. After the Halloween season, make a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. The pumpkin will store well for many months.
- Share your recipes: Send me your recipes and I will post them here and on the Out East Foodie and The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project Facebook Pages.
Note: 55 Arboretums Everyone Should Put on Their Bucket List. Bayard Cutting Arboretum is one of them!