Happiest fall greetings and welcome to Plant Whatever Brings You Joy (and a fresh new look!).
As promised I’m going to continue sharing the wealth of information I gathered from Anne, whom I met at the farmer’s market, who has a wonderful organic farm in Mendocino County. I was just astounded that she knows so much about pumpkins and squashes. Her love for these vegetables and the magic they hold is palpable!
In my last post I focused on the various pumpkins I learned about. This post is devoted to some of the abundant winter squashes available to us only at this precious time of year. I particularly love that these vegetables have been woven so beautifully into the tapestry of our winter holidays. They also continue to offer inspiration for a variety of winter soups that nurture us as the days grow longer and the nights grow colder.
This is a smaller version of a standard Blue Hubbard, producing fruits about 5-7 pounds. It has a smooth, gray-blue skin and a sweeter flesh than the standard Blue Hubbard. Reputedly this is the preferred squash of the cucumber beetle, so one might consider growing (off to one side??) to distract the little buggers from your other squashes! (Just sayin’…)
Kabocha squash received a lot of attention on Plant Whatever Brings You Joy, in my Squasharama post written nearly four years ago (!) and I refer you back to it for more extended information about kabocha, including a baked custard recipe. It has an exceptional naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash. It is similar in texture and flavor to a pumpkin and a sweet potato combined. I’m looking forward to baking the one I just purchased. It’s a very substantial squash.
I actually included the Crown Pumpkin in my recent pumpkin post, but I’m going to include again here, as it actually is a winter squash. Crown Pumpkin is a delicious winter squash with a hard blue-grey skin and rich orange flesh.
The Cucurbita family houses the pumpkin, the gourd and the squash, and has sub-categories called the Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita maxima and the Cucurbita pepo.Pumpkins are usually recognized as being the pepo. The stems are woody and the skin is hard and orange. The maxima species is slightly different from the pepo species in that it is less hardy when compared to a Jack-o-Lantern.
Burgess Buttercup produces smallish 3-5 pound dark green fruits with orange flesh, which is fiberless. The flavor is reminiscent of sweet potato. It can be baked or steamed, then combined with butter and fresh herbs. It stores well.
Yes, just as watermelon season was closing, there was Anne selling this intriguing Blacktail Mountain watermelon. I couldn’t not give it a try, right? The fruit is solid dark green and has an orange-red flesh. Ann says the fruits are generally 6-10 poinds and 8″ across. Vines reach 10 feet. Once harvested it will keep up to two months. Good to know.
I hope you have enjoyed the pumpkin/squash journey. Thank you for taking it with me. As winter approaches and you begin planning your next garden, I hope you will be inspired to try some of the veggies I have introduced.
Thank you for the visit!
Love and garden blessings,
Book News: OdeWire has just published another excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy, the chapter/lesson titles “Invest in Trees.” It’s a perfect story for October. And if you have not yet visited the book trailer for Plant Whatever Brings You Joy, I invite you to take a peek!
Posted on October 9th, 2012 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants