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Squash tales

October 24, 2010

Even I get tired of winter squash by springtime.  Hard to believe I know, but by the time April rolls around, and spring salads are on my mind, it’s easy to leave squash behind.  By this time of year, I am ready again for a steady diet of winter squash.

We eat the damaged squash first to give the good specimens a chance to ripen further and keep the longest.  I knocked the stem off of this one during harvest and it is a little green instead gray, so it was first.

The flesh was a deep and golden color with just a little green around the rind.  This variety gets sweeter in storage but is still very tasty at harvest time.

Lovely Sweet Meat.

Now for the strange end of the story.  Part experiment, part lazy, well, OK a lot lazy… .

Sweet Meat harvested fall 2009.

I got so sick of squash this one languished in the living-room on top the barrel churn all winter and into spring, spring became summer and then fall.  One  summer day when the dogs were horsing around they knocked off the stem, and I kept secretly hoping it would start to show signs of spoiling.  But, part of me was curious.  Just how long would this thing keep?  All good things have to come to an end, even experiments.  I decided to cut it open to see how bad it was, it still was heavy, with no soft spots, and was destined for the hens.

Well, it was actually fine.  Ugly on the outside, but fine on the inside.  A little drier than the fresh one, but still smelling like a cucumber when cut open.  There was one punky spot near the stem, but besides that it seemed fine.

And it was,  I cooked it up for supper.  It had lost some of the sweetness it probably had, and just tasted like squash.  Sorry hens… .

The seeds look to be in good shape too.  I will do a germination test to see if they are still viable, and go from there.

File this under “DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME”  or something like that it, unless you’re interested in food that will store for months with no extra care whatsoever.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2010 10:04 pm

    You got us hooked on winter squashes and pumpkins 🙂 We didn’t grow any calabazas this year, but getting some great choices here in the market mean winter will soon be as “here” as it gets in Florida…I’m SO happy to be back eating the first of the newcomers, along with slowcooked black beans and some hot cornbread. Love seeing how long your longest keeper kept!

  2. October 24, 2010 10:47 pm

    Though I am only a beginning and inadequate gardener, the first year I tried to garden I grew one squash plant and had three little delicata squash. I was so happy to have them that I only ate one, the other two stored on my pantry shelves for almost a year before I ate them. They did not spoil, they probably would have been tastier if I had not waited so long, but they were still very good.

  3. October 25, 2010 4:13 am

    Who’d have thought a squash could last so long…amazing! I’m sure your hens never even missed this baby. Enjoy your day way up there.
    Maura 🙂

  4. October 25, 2010 4:57 am

    WOW….that’s amazing. I had tried to grow several different types of squash this year with no luck..:-(

  5. October 25, 2010 5:35 am

    Isn’t that neat, it still looks so good on the inside. I have had spaghetti squash store like that before but they pretty much become gourds after a while…not too edible. Your squash looks very edible.

  6. October 25, 2010 5:47 am

    Thanks for spreading the word about the glories of winter squash! Truly manna from heaven?

    May I send you a recipe for luscious squash soup?

  7. Diana Smith permalink
    October 25, 2010 5:51 am

    Must you taunt me with your squash pictures? Even your reject squash would be welcome here. for some reason this area is plagued with every villanous squash predator alive and we rarely get more than a puny squash or two even though every year we try again. Oh how I remember the giant Hubbards, the sweet buttercups, the wonderful Sweet Mamas we grew in MI. Seems MO is not the land of squash. Have heard (and tried) every method of protecting the plants but so far nothing works. DEE who bought some nice local squash and the lady claims all she does is sprinkle them with self rising flour…should I believe that?!

  8. October 25, 2010 6:29 am

    LOL I skirted around the last squash all summer too because I was “squashed out” but finally decided to haul it out to the compost after the mouse episode… didn’t make it that far, it was still good, a little dry but good.

  9. October 25, 2010 2:01 pm

    I’m so jealous. Do you not even know the squash vine borer?
    I got a sad measly harvest of summer zucchini and three small butternuts this year before the dreaded SVB hit and took everything out. I had one beautiful pumpkin vine about 12 ft long that had leaves the size of a dinner plate and had just started blooming and in less than a week it was a wilted mess. I have dug SVB out, rerooted vines and tried every organic suggestion and companion plant I’ve heard with no luck. Everything except grow in mesh cages.
    Your squash always entice me … I want to go buy seeds of every variety you talk about. But I know better. Because our climate (Dallas, TX) is waaaay different than yours but mostly because I figure even if they survived the heat, the SVB would get them.

    • October 27, 2010 5:23 am

      Serendippity, squash vine borer is like hurricanes here – we don’t get them. What do organic farmers do in your area? Not grow squash? Here pests are usually excluded with row covers, they are a pain, but sometimes the only way to harvest a pest free organic crop. You would have to hand pollinate, but squash are pretty easy to do that with. I have no suggestions other than that – sorry. 😦

  10. October 25, 2010 2:53 pm

    If its still tasty keeping for ever is a great quality – and a testament to what a good grower you are!

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