Thursday, September 10, 2009

Squash Harvest

Yes, this is my picture above. It is a picture of the squash we harvested today! After a summer of carefully tending the squash, we picked them all today. They will need to age in a warm and dry place for about a month before we cut into one, but we're ok with that.

Squash can be left to age in the field in the sun, after frost has taken the leaves. I think they cure faster this way than in the house as long as you get them inside before the very hard frost damages the rind. You can tell when a squash is ready to be picked by the curlycue nearby. If they have begun to shrivel and turn brown then it is ready to pick but still needs to be cured. You can also tell by the stem. If it is turning brown and no longer green, then the squash is ready. We just picked them all before the frost. The slightly immature ones will not grow any bigger but they will ripen over the winter, off the vine. We had to leave a few babies behind but we had a lot of good squash anyway.

The very large light blue ones are hubbard. Those have to be cut with an axe, but produce the most lovely, sweet, not stringly squash. The long ones with the bulb at the end are the butternut. Those are best for making squash soup, or so I hear. I have never grown butternut before and have used the buttercup and hubbard for everything. The orange ones are ambercup, a buttercup of a different colour. The green ones are nutty delica. I have never grown or eaten delica squash before. They are a Japanese Ebisu hybred that are suppose to have a nutty flavour. We will see.

They are aging for now, but when we do cut a few open, we will judge for ourselves which ones we like the best.

Next year I will also grow Hopi pale gray and Hopi black squash.

I grew acorn squash in the back pasture this year, but have not checked on them yet. I believe there was only one that sprouted. I will have to see if there are any acorn squash very soon.
I have seed to try many other types next year, but we will always grow hubbard.

1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

Beautiful squash. Hope you enjoy.