Thursday, October 10, 2013

October's food of the month: Pumpkin and winter squash

Autumn brings changing leaves, a chill to the air and pumpkin spiced *everything*.  Our recent Trader Joe's shopping trip proves this.  I'm pretty sure that 7 out of the ten things I bought were pumpkin flavored.  Nom!

So, rather than encouraging you to go out and buy a bunch of pumpkin flavored stuff, let's learn to grow and make stuff together...

This month we're going to talk about pumpkins,
butternut squash, acorn squash and delicata squash.

So you don't have to "gourd" yourself on information, we've done some of the legwork for you:

The growing conditions for pumpkins and winter squash are very similar.  Generally, it's a good idea to start seeds indoors 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost and the soil should be warm before transplanting (this means around Mother's Day in the Midwest).  Pumpkins and winter squash will be happiest in nutrient-rich soil and when watered frequently (daily or every-other day).

After you bring your pumpkin/squash home, store it out of direct sunlight and, if displaying outside, cover them with a towel or blanket to fight against frost if the temperature drops below freezing (32°).  Be sure to keep your pumpkins and squash on straw or cardboard, avoid concrete or linoleum, and they can keep for 3 to 6 months if stored properly (visit for more information).

We don’t want to squash anyone’s dreams but, it’s not safe to can any kind of squash, unless it’s pickled… so freezing is probably your best option here.  Fortunately, it freezes *very* well.  Here are a few ways to do so…

There is an abundance of pumpkin/squash recipes available online.  In the coming weeks, we’ll try out a few and let you know what we think of them.  If there’s something you’d like us to try this month, let us know and we’ll do our best to try it out for you.

Any questions or thoughts?  Let us know and leave a comment!

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