July 2024: Sweet Dumpling Squash

This month’s seed kit features Sweet Dumpling Squash! To support our environment, some seed kit materials are now available digitally. Follow the links to download a planting log, additional delicious recipes, and coloring pages.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

The sweet and tender flesh of the Sweet Dumpling squash is a fall favorite to many. These can be planted in the spring and summer months for a fall harvest. 

Planting Instructions

Culture: Direct sow your Sweet Dumpling Squash seeds after the danger of frost has passed. Sow seeds 1 inch deep, 8 to 12 inches apart in rich, loamy soil. For best results, use soil with a pH level of 6.0 – 7.5 and a temperature between 60°F to 95°F. Plant your squash in an area where they will receive full sun throughout the day. 

Water: Keep soil moist, but not saturated, until seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days. Once seedlings have emerged, provide even moisture on a regular basis to prevent over-drying of the soil and wilting of the leaves. Uneven and/or overwatering may lead to blossom end rot and loss of fruit. Avoid wetting the plant leaves, as that may result in fungal disease.

Harvest: Sweet Dumpling Squash will reach maturity in 80 to 90 days. Squash may be harvested as soon as the stems begin to dry and the skin becomes too hard to pierce with a fingernail. Cut the squash from the vine using a sharp implement, leave a short stem attached to the fruit. Do not carry the squash by the stem, if the stem becomes detached, use the squash as soon as possible as it will begin to spoil rapidly.

More About Sweet Dumpling Squash

Sweet Dumpling Squash is a variety of the Winter Squash. Winter Squash, including the winter dumpling variety, has a rich history in ancient Mesoamerica, first cultivated over 10,000 years ago. The indigenous peoples of North and Central America grew these hardy squashes for their ability to be stored and consumed during the winter months, providing vital nutrition when other food sources were scarce. Winter dumpling squash, a relatively newer cultivar, is cherished for its sweet, nutty flavor and attractive, variegated skin. Planted in late spring to early summer, it requires warm soil and ample growing time to mature before the first frost.  

Fun facts:  

  • Winter Squash is classified as a fruit botanically, despite being treated as a vegetable in culinary contexts.  
  • Winter Squash is also high in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, essential for vision and immune function.  
  • Winter Squash was also a staple in the diet of the Native Americans. It was often grown using the "Three Sisters" method, alongside corn and beans, to enrich the soil and support sustainable agriculture. 

Roasted Sweet Dumpling Squash

 Serves: 6    Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 30-35 minutes 


  • 4 Sweet Dumpling squash (about 2.5 lb.) halved, seeded, and cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh
  • rosemary or thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Wash the skin of the Sweet Dumpling squash. Snap off the stem and cut the squash in half. Use a spoon and scoop out the seeds and the stringy flesh. Cut the squash into wedges about 1/3 inch thick.
  3. In a bowl, combine Sweet Dumpling squash, olive oil or butter, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Toss to combine.
  4. On a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, lay out the Sweet Dumpling squash in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Squash should be golden in color and fork tender.
  5. Top with chopped rosemary or thyme.

Craft: Natural Paint Brushes

You’ll Need:

  • Sticks
  • Leaves, pine needles, flowers
  • Rubber bands
  • Paint
  • Paper


  1. Explore outdoors and take a nature walk to gather natural materials to make paintbrushes.
  2. Find plants with varying textures that can be used as bristles in your brush. We used pine needles, foxtail, yarrow, cilantro, and cedar in this example. 
  3. Find sticks 4-8 inches long to use as handles. Bundle each set of bristles and secure to the handles with a rubber band.
  4. Experiment with each brush in paint to discover the textures they can create.