Tuesday, August 31, 2010
We Have Squash!!
I love growing squash! It's so much fun and so interesting! I am a little nuts about squash like other people are about heirloom tomatoes. I know people that grow three dozen different types of tomatoes! I like to grow several different types of squash, whatever kind I find interesting.
The picture at the top is the acorn squash growing on the fence along the driveway. There has been a battle this summer between the acorn squash and the morning glories, to see who would take over the fence. It sure is beautiful!Most of the squash that I planted this year has done very well and there have been some surprises! This is an ambercup and blue hubbard cross, bound to be delicious with those two for parents! Who knows, maybe it will be fabulous. If I keep pollinating it back to itself for a few generations, I might have a stable new variety of maxima squash. Wouldn`t that be fun!
This is our favourite winter squash variety, ambercup. It is so sweet and delicious without being overly stringy. It`s also small and easy to peel and bake, easier than hubbard, anyway. Those giant hubbard have to be cut with the axe!
We also like buttercup. I planted very decorative buttercup squash this year. Aren't they beautiful! I have about two dozen of these growing in the squash field. These are "turban" squash, also called "Turk`s cap", and are a type of buttercup. Buttercup squash are easy to handle, sweet and delicious, and I like these for fall decorating. The only drawback I have found with the buttercup is that they don't keep as well throughout the winter in the cold cellar. The softer skin that makes them a little easier to peel and cook, also prevents them from keeping as long.
This is a Hopi black squash. The Hopi indians used to grow them in the three sisters fasion. I also planted Hopi pale gray squash, which are suppose to be very good "keepers" but I don't think they did very well. I couldn't find one out there, anyway. Perhaps when the large squash leaves, weeds and grass has died back I will find a few. I hope so.
I planted a few spaghetti squash this year for the first time. Someone told me that the stringy inner part looks and tastes like spaghetti noodles and is good with sauce on it, much like you would eat spaghetti. I planted a few, just a few to try. There are four of them growing out there now and they look like they are doing very well. I don't know how the guys will go for having squash instead of noodles, time will tell. It's bound to be healthier but that's not necessarily a "seller" at our house, unfortunately.
I planted three other types of interesting squash, "upper ground sweet potato" squash that is suppose to taste a lot like sweet potatoes, (we love sweet potatoes!), "sweet mama" squash which should be very sweet and "pink banana" squash, just because it was interesting.The "sweet potato" squash" are huge, the size of a very large pumpkin! Isn't it lovely and big! There are two of them! That should give us quite a lot of "sweet potato" squash.
The "sweet mama" squash are smaller and grew on a trellis. I have two of those growing with the tomatoes.
I have already received a few seeds for "Sweet dumpling" squash to grow next year.
Squash is so easy to grow and so much fun! Because most of what I grow are maxima, they do tend to cross a bit even though I do hand pollinate most of it, but I'm ok with that.
I would love to plant a very large field full of various squash and have a "pick your own squash" week in the fall. Maybe next year I'll do that. I could grow some jack-o-lantern pumpkins in there too.
I have a surprise jack-o-lantern pumpkin plant growing in the old chicken pen now. We don't have chickens at the moment and the growth in there is amazing. It is so thick with huge weeds, and this pumkin, due to the old chicken manure in there. I am looking forward to seeing the size of those pumpkins! The stems on this pumpkin plant stretch to the roof of the 6' pen and have leaves to match in size. Amazing growth! The massive weeds in there with it prevent any pumpkin viewing at this time, but they will all die back with fall comes.
I also have a squash or pumpkin growing in the old compost pile. Its so weedy I can't see what it is right now.
I have never seen a squash borer but I have planted the squash in a different field so far every year. Maybe it's just not a problem up here. Something has to compensate us for the winters!
I can grow squash! I cannot, however, seem to grow luffahs...
Posted by Sheryl at Providence Acres at 2:16 PM