Wonderful Winter Squashes

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.

Baby Blue Hubbard Squash (Cucurbita maxima)

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 (Japanese: カボチャ, 南瓜)

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.

Crown Pumpkin

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

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.

Blacktail Mountain Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

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,
Kathryn xoxo

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!

10 Responses to “Wonderful Winter Squashes”

  1. Beautiful, festive post, and great information, mom! On a recent hike I came across a house with most of the squashes you’ve featured here growing in their front yard. Delightful, and such creative use of space, I think.


  2. Thanks, Antonia! Good to know the move to transform front yards into something other than lawn is up and running in Northern California! Thanks for sharing! Love, Mom xoxo

  3. What great information on winter squash! And beautiful photography! Whole Foods carries lots of different kinds of winter squash. We recently tried Carnival Squash and it was delicious!

    Sandie Anne

  4. I’d like to add another twist to cooking with squash. Our daughter Susan found a biscuit recipe that called for cooked squash. We used butternut baked & mashed. It’s basically a buttermilk/yogurt biscuit recipe with 1 cup of squash added & the buttermilk/yogurt reduced to keep the liquid/dry in balance. We used whole wheat flour & oat bran into the “flour” blend. It was a staple part of our beloved dog Charlie’s diet while he still abided. However, they are also wonderful with winter soups and cheese and apples. Good way to get in more vegetables. No “pumpkin pie” spices needed. Our standard butternut squash soup recipe calles for a red onion, green apples, anything tart like Granny Smith, and butternut squash cooked in chicken broth and then add some sort of milk/ almond milk / 1/2 and 1/2 at the end. It uses tarrigon instead of “pumpkin pie” spices and is a much fresher flavor. Also great thickened on brown rice.
    Hugs from Ohio, Julie

  5. Good morning, Sandie Anne, and welcome! Thank you so much! I have not tried Carnival Squash yet, but I will look for it! Good to know Whole Foods has a good store of squashes! Thank you for your visit! Kathryn xoxo

  6. Hi, Julie, and thank you for the wonderful winter squash recipe ideas! I’ve certainly made breads with squashes, but I will have to try biscuits! And the soup sounds delicious! Thank you! Hugs from California! Kathryn xoxo

  7. Thank you for the information on these squashes. Now if I see these in the market I will be better informed. i also like the idea of planting these, and using them in the kitchen. All very fun and i love knowing a bit more about these. Love the rose header, too. Just lovely! Warmest, xxoo

  8. Hi, Philip! Thank you so very much! Glad you like the new rose header! And, yes, winter squashes offer a world of variety to explore! Enjoy! Kathryn xoxo

  9. Hi Kathryn,
    What a wonderful, informative post! I love your photos and I’m really into pumpkins and squashes. They’re fabulous to look at, so nutritious and fun. What more can we ask for? Good to see your post. Be happy and healthy.

  10. Hi, Mary! Glad you enjoyed the post! Yes, I love pumpkins and squashes, too! They are marvelous! Kathryn xoxo

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