Honeynut Squash is a common squash grown throughout the
Kingdom of Santharia, though it prefers
the moderate temperatures of Xaramon, Enthronia, and
Vardýnn. The squash itself is long and
bulbous in shape, a little plumper at one end than the other, and is usually
orange or orange-yellow in colour, though it may also come in orange-brown.
Honeynut Squashes are commonly harvested in autumn and used in any number of
dishes including casseroles and breads.
Honeynut Squash plant, like many squash plants, is a vining plant. From a single
seedling it creeps across the earth, releasing roots to burrow into the ground
for nutrients. Honeynut Squash is a hardy plant that can expand easily, growing
into a 2 ped by 2
ped plot quickly.
The roots, pale in colour, are shallow, so Honeynut Squash is often grown in
close proximity to corn, whose root system does not compete with the squash. In
addition, the Honeynut squash’s large leaves shade the ground, helping to
prevent weeds from cropping up. The leaves are a pale or dusty green colour, and
can expand to nearly two
palmspans long. The leaves are five-lobed with pointed ends and rough edges,
but are very soft and supple. The undersides are covered in a fine fur.
Come late summer, the Honeynut Squash plant produces large, orange-yellow
flowers, not unlike lily flowers. Five-petalled and occasionally freckled by
small black or brown spots, the flowers can expand to the size of a large man’s
hand. They are lovely and it’s tempting to pluck them to decorate one’s dinner
table or place it the kitchen window, particularly as they are rather
sweet-smelling. However, to do so would be to rob oneself of the delectable
treasures to come.
The flowers wither away by early autumn and begin to form into fruit. The
left-over base of the flower grows larger and larger, turning from light green
to yellow to Sor'inyt orange and
swelling until it is a fore
and a half long! - though of course, they can get much larger. According to the
Dogodan Honeynut Squash Competition Historical Registry, the largest Honeynut
Squash grown among the tribe was a few
nailsbreadths shy of a ped
The Honeynut Squash is usually harvested in mid to late autumn, though it will
keep all winter if stored in a cool place. Cut into it, and you’ll smell the
reason for the squash’s name, for its aroma is sweet and nutty (an apt
reflection of its taste). The seeds of the Honeynut Squash, located in a hollow
pocket in the plumpest section of the fruit, are several, usually about half a
nailsbreadth long and
The Honeynut Squash can be found throughout the
Kingdom of Santharia, from the warm
farms bordering Bardavos to the magical gardens of
Ximax Academy, from the rolling hills of
the Dogodan Hobbits to
the peaceful grounds of the Duke of Nermeran.
The Honeynut Squash is an adaptable plant, and will grow most anywhere provided
the land isn’t too shady and the soil isn’t too wet.
Though many Honeynut Squash seeds can be sown at once, the average gardener
doesn’t generally plant but a handful per season (usually in mid-summer).
Particularly in mid-Santharia, where the
squash grows with great fecundity, it’s a waste of seeds to plant more than a
few a time. With the Honeynut Squash, the most important tip is not to
over-water it; most gardeners don’t need to water it but every other day while
it is sprouting, and then leave it alone until harvest.
Perhaps the most obvious use of the Honeynut Squash is as a food item. Because
of its prevalence, it has worked its way into all sorts of dishes. For the lazy
cook, roasting bite-size pieces of the squash over a flame is a satisfying
autumn repast; a baker might find a suitable use for the squash as an addition
to breads and muffins. Those for whom cooking is a métier may work the Honeynut
Squash into a flavourful casserole, a frabjous stuffing, or a soothing soup. The
squash can even simply be cooked, mashes, and served with a bit of butter (and
just a splash of citrus!) as a compliment to roast
taenish or cured ham.
Ingesting the Honeynut Squash is assumed to have some positive somatic benefits:
it is generally assumed to kill or weaken internal parasites, such as worms. For
those who suffer mightily from such deleterious pests, it is recommended you see
your local herbalist. He or she will likely have some sort of salubrious mixture
that includes Honeynut Squash seeds that have been roasted, ground, and mixed
with oils and a dash of lemon juice. Depending on the progression of your bodily
infestation, it will likely be recommended you take a bit of this concoction 2-3
times a day. And consuming a bit of the squash itself on a regular basis
couldn’t hurt either!
The Honeynut Squash has a fairly well-observed lifecycle. From a small seed,
planted in the good, dry soil in early or mid-summer, a seedling will sprout in
about a week, and quickly expand into curious tendrils moving over the ground
like a leafy fog. In mid- or late summer, the flowers will blossom, inviting
malise and other insects to bathe in their pollen before they depart.
In early autumn, the squash has already begun to swell, growing larger and
larger (and oranger and oranger) until they reach maturity in mid to late
autumn, when they are harvested. If kept in cool conditions, the squash can last
all winter, though they have come to define the colours of autumn, and are
happily consumed during this season. Farmers may collect the seeds, which will
last until next season, when they are planted and the cycle starts again.
While the Honeynut Squash has not particular stories connected to it, it’s worth
mentioning that the squash has strong associations with
Jeyriall is depicted with a harvest,
there is almost always a Honeynut Squash among the corn and gourds in her
cornucopia. The squash itself has, in some ways, helped to define the autumn
season, and many hobbits say that winter
comes not until the Honeynut Squash is roasted (or the Honeynut Squash bread is
baked, or the Honeynut Squash casserole is cooked… I suppose it really depends
on the hobbit).