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Hello Squash

October 24th, 2013

I’ve never had much space in the garden for growing winter squash.  Their vines sprawl far and wide, much farther than I ever had the space to give them in my tiny space.  Now that I have a large garden, squash finally made the cut.
squash harvest 3
Frost was predicted for the night before last, so I decided it was time to harvest all the winter squash. This year I grew ‘Sweet Meat’ and ‘Waltham Butternut” from Baker Creek,  along with ‘Burgess Buttercup Squash’ and ‘Delicata’ from High Mowing Seeds.
squash harvest 5
squash harvest 4
There were loads of beautiful delicata squash in the garden as well, but the voles and porcupines have been going crazy eating them. I managed to harvest four for us to eat. You can see here they were starting in on the pumpkins as well. At least they almost always came back to this pumpkin instead of gnawing on every single one.
squash harvest 2
Now all the squash are sitting in an upstairs window where they’ll stay warm. Squash don’t like cool storage like other vegetables, it’s best to keep them in the same conditions you like to live in. I’ll probably pile them in a corner of the living room after a few weeks.
squash harvest 1
In mid summer I planted a second crop of zucchini, mostly for feeding the chickens, ducks and pigs. They’re still going very strong. In fact I harvested about twice this many zucchini. They’ll be slowly eaten by the animals and us over the nest few weeks. The smaller ones are dried into zucchini noodles for us to eat on this winter.
zucchini harvest
Next year I’m planting about half of my big main garden in squash. I plan on growing a good amount for animal feed in a well mulched area of the garden since I won’t have time to grow crops that need more attention. I’m thinking however that an electric fence around the garden is going to be a good idea.

Do you grow winter squash in your garden?

The First Zucchini of the Summer

July 8th, 2010

I harvested my first zucchini on Tuesday July 6th, it was a ‘Romanesco’ Zucchini from Renee’s Garden. It’s described like this: With traditional style and flavor, high yields and disease resistance, this delicious Italian favorite has creamy sweet flesh, tender striped skin, and long-holding edible blossoms. I must admit, it was very tender and quite delicious and the blossom was still attached when I harvested it at 7 inches long. Last year I harvested my first zucchini on July 16th, so this hot weather has certainly helped the zucchini out this year.

You really can’t beat zucchini for a quick and easy summer side, we enjoy it all summer long. I like to pick them small and slice them or cut them in half and saute them in a skillet, then top with freshly ground pepper, sea salt and a drizzle of good olive oil. We enjoyed this one with venison burgers topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions; a perfect summer meal!

This year I’m growing a few other varieites of zucchini as well, I’m growing ‘Ronde de Nice’ again, Burpee ‘Fordhook’ and ‘Romanesco’. I’ve never had great luck growing it, most people end up with too much zucchini, I only get a few fruits per plant. Hopefully this year will be different. At least I usually have an abundance of squash blossoms, which we’ve been enjoying stuffed with blue cheese, breaded and fried (note: we usually only eat the male blossoms because the female ones will produce fruit).

Are you usually overrun with zucchini in the summer like everyone else? What’s your favorite way to enjoy this vegetable?

Harvesting the 3 Sisters Garden

October 6th, 2009

It was a beautiful day yesterday so I decided to go to my mom’s yesterday to harvest my 3 sisters garden. The corn has been drying on the stalks for a few weeks now and I figured I’d better pick it before the next rain storm comes.
I picked all the corn and some of the beans that were growing up the corn stalks. I haven’t weighed or counted the corn yet, so I can’t tell you how much I got. I think I’ll wait and weigh it when it’s dry.
I also harvested some of the squash that was growing through the corn, the pumpkins I picked last week were also growing around the corn.
Lucy had a great time, she loves “Goin’ to Gramma’s”. She got to bask in the sun while I was harvesting and she got to stick her head out the window on the car ride! You just can’t get any better than sunny with a high of 63 for gardening, I would rate it as the perfect gardening day!

What’s your favorite kind of gardening weather?

The Great Pumpkins

October 2nd, 2009

When I was at my mom’s on Tuesday we harvest the two pumpkins that were on the Cinderella vine. There were two pumpkins growing right next to each other on the vine, and I think these are the only two that set.
One weighed 23 pounds and the other 16, now those are some numbers that will help bump up my harvest total! These pumpkins are going to grace my mom’s porch on Halloween for decoration and then they’ll be made into pumpkin pies, which is of course my favorite way to eat pumpkin!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?

One Lonely Gourd

September 5th, 2009

I started bird house gourd plants this spring. I gave one to my mom and I kept one to plant on my trellis on the garage. My mom had a gourd set fairly early on, it’s pretty big now. Mine is still fairly small but it seems to be growing.
I was hoping to get more than 1 gourd since I was wanting to give them out for Christmas. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to try again next year. It was just something I decided to grow to add a little fun to the gardens.

Anything fun growing in your garden?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.