I believe winter squash to be one of the most underrated vegetables that farmers produce. Many people look at winter squash and the first thing that comes to mind is a gourd or those decorations everyone sets out in front of their house for Halloween. I believe it is the tastiest, most versatile vegetable we grow and it happens to be my favorite. It also can be difficult to grow organically which is why it is hard to find organic winter squash varieties at the supermarket. We produce four varieties and if we had more acreage we would produce many more. I love it because we can store them and eat them all winter long.
We start seeds in flats in April and transplant them out into the field towards the end of May. We cover them with row covers to protect them from insects until they begin to flower. When we spot the first flowers we take off the covers so that they can pollinate and within a couple weeks they grow vigorously as they create vines that can reach 10 to 15 feet. During this time we water them twice a week and watch them grow.
By August, the vines begin to succumb to insects and diseases and we hold our breath waiting for the squash to begin to ripen. As the vines die back you can then see all the ripe squash waiting to be harvested. We harvest each variety and place them on the ground inside one of our high tunnels. We place shade cloth over top of them so that they do not get sun scald and allow them to cure. This process allows the squash to fully harden and also enhances their flavor. After about 10 days we bring the winter squash into a sheltered area and stack them in bins where they will stay for months. Every week we have to go through the bins to make sure none of the squash are rotting.
This year we have harvested 4,500 lbs of spaghetti, acorn, butternut and delicate squash. You will be finding these varieties in your shares for the last six weeks of the CSA. Check our posts because Jess will offer winter squash recipes and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
This week's share consists of:
Full Share- spaghetti squash, tomatoes, sweet peppers, head lettuce, cherry tomatoes, tuscan kale, escarole, arugula, pak choy, eggplant, nappa cabbage
Half Share- spaghetti squash, tomatoes, sweet peppers, head lettuce, cherry tomatoes, tuscan kale
What can I make with my share this week?? Here are a couple of ideas!
Spaghetti squash is very versatile and one of our favorites! Here are three different ways to enjoy it!
Chow Mein- http://littlebitsof.com/2014/10/spaghetti-squash-chow-mein/
Lasagna Bowls- http://www.sweet-remedy.com/2014/01/spaghetti-squash-lasagna-bowls/
Shrimp Scampi- http://paleogrubs.com/spaghetti-squash-shrimp-scampi