Where Did Squash Originate?

While squash originated in the Americas, squash, along with maize and beans, was one of the earliest domesticated plants in New Mexico and North America. Early on, squash was only grown for seed because early squash had little flesh and a bitter taste. However, American cultivation led to better tasting, fleshier squash varieties.

There are a few interesting facts about the history of squash:

  • Pieces of squash rinds, seeds and stems dating back to 7000 BC were found in New Mexico caves.
  • The word "squash" comes from Native Americans words that mean to eat something raw, but was developed by American colonists.
  • European settlers took squash seeds back to their home countries, resulting in the growing of squash in many countries.

Today, many varieties of squash are grown in home gardens all across the United States.