On Moving Day

P1010692Yesterday was Move the Squash Day.  I left them to ripen/cure in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks, but the mice have developed a serious affinity to those of the pie pumpkin family so it’s in to the house they all go.

P1010695Here’s a closer pic of the wheelbarrowload of blues.  In here you’ll find the Oregon heirloom Sweet Meat (bottom left), the familiar Blue Hubbard (dead center, top right and middle right), and the unfamiliar folded-over three-lobed Triamble, from seed from this crazy woman in Oakland.  The little green squash is actually an unripe Triamble.  Not seen, but buried, is a Jarrahdale Blue, an Australian heirloom.  Having eaten none of them, I was most impressed with the Triamble; the Jarrahdale and Sweet Meat were all hat and no cattle, if you know what I mean.  The Hubbards were volunteers.

P1010698Next up is the load of orange squash.  The big ones are Galeux d’Eysenes, surprisingly wart-free; the greens are unripe pie pumpkins and there are also a couple of kuri/kabocha squash in here too.  The yellow one in the center?  That’s (seriously) an eight-ball zucchini.  Whoops!

P1010706Last up is the butternut squash.  It was a good year for butternuts.

We had an early-ish frost here, followed by lots of rain:  both conditions seriously disrupt a winter squash’s ability to live a long sweet life in storage, so I harvested everyone about three weeks ago.  Many, many people will tell you that “a little frost” will not unduly injure your squash, to which I say either they are compulsive liars or that the sole exception to this rule is (and only is) my one small squash-growing patch on this planet.  Therefore, I harvest once the temperature drops, the stormclouds threaten.

I like squash, as you can see.  It’s not all for me, though.  The deer got our garden at school, so many of these beauties are destined for schoolchildren’s tummies.

16 responses to “On Moving Day

  1. I am so jealous! I haven’t had much luck with winter squash…my soil is not that great (but it’s getting better). Pumpkins this year are teeny tiny because the oaks shaded out the patch, I’m sure…..and I only got 6.

    I’m determined to get some good squash next year. Thank goodness for winter and time to plan and get re-motivated!

  2. That is a lot of squash! I like winter squash a lot, but I cannot imagine going through more than one wheelbarrow full per year. And my squash – blue hubbards – stayed tiny. I left them out so long, hoping they would grow some more, that raccoons or something came and ate them all up.

  3. DANG! That’s one big-assed haul of squash you got there, El. Very impressive!

    So far this year we’ve had only one light frost, and the temperature was barely low enough to manage that one. My pumpkin vines are still hanging on, though just. The few remaining pumpkins out there appear to be maturing still, though very slowly. We’ll see whether they make it. No additional possibility of frost until Sunday, but the days are getting mighty short here… We dip below ten hours of daylight on November 11th.

  4. Wow, that’s a serious haul.

  5. WOW, now that’s a lot of winter squash. No vitamin A defficiencies there.

  6. Yum! Don’t they all look great! What’s ‘all hat and no cattle’? I was particularly interested in the Jarrahdale Blue, an Australian heirloom.

    You know I love me some butternut. Looks like grocery store squash for me this year! dern

  7. Holy moly! Look at the size of those squash. They appear to be on steroids. The Triamble looks like Schwarzenegger’s glutes and the eight ball his biceps, seriously impressive harvest. What is your secret?

    You’re in for a whole slew of hearty winter meals this year.

  8. I must roast a butternut tonight. Yum yum yum.

    What do you do with the unripe ones? I have a couple of Triambles (same source) that aren’t ready to come in, but I’m ready to be vine-free out front.

  9. I say Shrimp with Kabocha curry! You will love it.

  10. That Triamble looks interesting. My winter squash didn’t do well- it was too wet and everything rotted. I’m fortunate that I was able to get some from my Mom. Hubbard, blue banana and buttercup. YUM! I also scored some butternut from the local pumpkin patch.

  11. THAT is impressive to say the least. I had a good squash harvest last year – despite the bugs – not good this year. But other things did well, and I still have some frozen one from last winter.

    Next year will be better!
    (and I agree with you. A little frost will hurt the squash keeping ability!)

  12. Where’s the warts? I want warts! Those galeuse d’eysines are freaky things when they are all warted up. Why do you suppose those ones turned out to be wart free?
    Love the blog and it was a great year for squash for me as well…

  13. Petunia, well, you’re quite right: more than practically any other plant, winter squash wants good soil. You’ll see my post today is all about compost! Compost and lots of sun. Yes, here’s to next year for you!

    Aimee, yeah, we’ll probably go through less than two wheelbarrowloads, and the last one is going to the school and to friends and relatives. It sounds like field mice got your harvest, though I suppose it could be raccoons too. What a bummer! And yeah do you grow food for your goats? Goats LOVE squash and it’s really good for them. Maybe next year!

    Kate, as long as they’re on their way to being ripe, you can cut them off any time. You can check with your thumbnail: carefully poke the blossom end and if your nail easily leaves a mark, they’ve got some ripening to do. But as long as there’s at least 2″ of stem left on, they’ll continue to ripen. Most of my pumpkins are still quite green. And that’s such a bummer about the daylight! As it is now we go out with flashlights to see how many mice we’ve caught in the greenhouse traps before I take the kid to school. Sad.

    Seriously tasty haul, Ed!

    Suzy, yeah, we won’t be malnourished…luckily the girl has decided this year that she loves squash. Always had been touch and go before.

    Jules, I guess I meant that those two particular squash put out yards and yards of vines and exactly one squash each. Harrumph. The Jarrahdale is simply a blue pumpkin, very classic looking, and very heavy…makes me think it’s all water. Seriously: I nearly dropped it as it was much heavier than its size warranted. So, darn for you!

    Mike, hah, yeah; sunshine, heavy soil, and lots of compost. I think that’s why I am able to keep them so long, too: they’re in some good mucky soil. And, do I hear a tree falling in Idaho so you can get some more light on that garden patch? I will send you some seeds to try. They might not come true (too lazy this year) but it’d be something.

    Stef, you see that bright green one above, I doubt it will ripen fully but it was of such a size I figured I would try. Of all the squash I figure the butternuts don’t mind being eaten when they’re still a little green, but the other ones will probably benefit from some extra ripening time. So: squash in the front yard, eh? You should take some pics of that. But considering you’ve got no (weather-related) reason to rush, I would just let them sit out there as long as you can. Besides, you’ve got other areas to plant!

    WF, yum! Coconut milk? Basil too? Basil’s still going strong in the greenhouse surprisingly…

    Yay Judy: it’s great to have a backup plan! Once the deer started nibbling the seedlings at school I went into Plan B mode and planted even more here. Crazy. Blue banana? This is the first year I ever grew pink banana. The triamble is interesting in that it has no empty chamber inside: it’s completely solid. I will let you know how they are, supposedly they’re the bee’s knees.

    Sylvie, yeah, that’s just my experience: these jungle-loving plants hate frost, and tend to sulk. Glad to hear you still have some in the freezer; pureed stuff keeps forever that way. But: here’s to next year for you! More compost!

    Jo, I know, disappointing, isn’t it? There are just a few little warts on them; can’t even tell in the pic. I have one here in the kitchen with me and it’s such a pretty color as it is. I have no idea why they were wart-free; maybe just because it was so darned cold this summer? Who knows. But…thanks!

  14. Beautiful! My back-of-the-envelope estimate is 85,000 calories for your haul there. Nice job!

  15. This might be my favorite post of yours. Those are some beautifully ugly squash! Lordy, how I love them! I might have to make that second picture my desktop background. Unfortunately, I will have to grow them vicariously through you.

  16. I am inspired by this post … some great looking winter squash there.

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