Sunday, October 10, 2010

Winter Squash From This Year

We grew a lot of winter squash this year. We love squash pies and it's so easy to grow! This year I experimented with a few different varieties. The little orange one are our favourites so far, ambercup. They are small, easy to peel and very sweet.

The most interesting ones were the Hopi indian squash, black and pale gray. I have posted pics of these two types here because I have read folks complain that there aren't any pictures of them on the internet. I know they are rare. These are the original "Three Sisters" squash grown by the Hopi indians. Next year I will have this seed for sale on my site, in addition to a few others. I only have the "Upper Ground Sweet Potato" squash seeds for sale this year because they are the only ones I have with positive seed purity. Next year will be different. I will be growing various types of squash with insect protection and seed purity in mind.

This is the Hopi black growing.

This is the Hopi black after it is aged and ripe. That's an acorn squash next to it to show the large size. It's the only acorn squash I got this year. Just the one.

These are a couple of the Hopi pale gray. It is suppose to be a very good keeper.

The two massive squash at the back of the group in the picture at the right are the "Upper Ground Sweet Potato" squash. It's big, the size of a very large pumpkin! It is suppose to taste more like sweet potatoes than squash. It also grows well in very poor conditions, making it a good squash for our depleted field. It did very well there! I have this seed for sale in my farm store.

The colourful ones in this pile are the "Turban", also called "Turk's Cap" squash. These are a buttercup relative so I am sure they will be dense, sweet and delicious! I grew them because of their colour. I think they will be a good addition to any fall decoration. I didn't grow a lot of them this year but might be growing them for sale next year.

In the group picture behind the "Turban" squash are the four spaghetti squash we grew to try. We have never grown or eaten spaghetti squash before. We are looking at recipes now. We'll see how it goes. If we like it we will grow it again next year. If not, well, it will go the way of the butternut and Ebisu we grew previously and weren't impressed with. We have grown the big blue hubbard before, as well, and like it a lot but didn't grow it this year. I think what we have will be enough and the hubbard, while delicious, is big and hard to peel. An axe does a fair job. A knife...not so much.

These two little, dark green little ones are "Sweet Mama" squash. I only have the two and I am looking forward to trying them. Next year I will plant "Sweet Dumpling". I already have the seeds!

I have several of these. They are big blue hubbard and ambercup crosses. I didn't grow the hubbard this year but I grew it right next to the ambercup last year. Even though I hand pollinated all the flowers last year, there were still some crosses. It'll be good. Both the hubbard and ambercup are good, similar in their sweetness and density, both delicious!

Next year I will be tying both the male and female flowers with netting, I think, to ensure seed purity.
All things considered, we are very happy with this year's squash harvest! It's time to start cutting into a few ripe ones, baking them for the freezer and making a few pies!


Cathy said...

We harvested our pumpkins & squash yesterday and I also got only one acorn squash - although I wasn't sure I'd even planted any and I certainly wasn't looking for one.

We don't have a lot of garden but ended up with huge pumpkin vines and more green than orange pumpkins which are all lined up in our screened porch hoping they will change colour. I also got 4 butternut squash and would be interested in knowing why you don't grow them.

/Cathy (Gravenhurst, ON)

The Squirrel Family said...

wow they are fabulous i love to see squshes en- masse they are so pretty

this year we grew , crown prince a lovely blue hued pumpkin with a lovely orange flesh. Also grew butternit squashe and some atlantic giant pumpkin for halloween

I grew acorn last year but found the taste disappointing , i think soup my have just taken pole position in my menu planning

Love the blog and thanks for visiting mine :)

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

We don't grow butternut because we don't think they are as sweet as the maximas. Ambercup, buttercup and hubbard are sweeter with a deeper squash flavour. It could be that the butternuts we have grown were not as ripe as they could be. Butternut seem to need a longer growing season. Since I already had several various types to try this year, I left those off.

I have considered growing them again to give them another chance, and may do so next year.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Beautiful crop. We grew some winter squash a few years ago and had them running out of our ears!