The Mighty Squash

I know it may seem that the tomatoes have been an obsession of mine lately. And while that is partially accurate, it’s really only part of the picture. I’ve been very excited at the prospect of growing, drying, freezing and/or canning my own produce, and the lovely tomato will be my first attempts at doing that on a large scale. I will also admit, that I am REALLY looking forward to simmering a giant pot of delicious sauce this winter (with fruit from my own yard) to use in lasagna, on pasta, as a dipper for my homemade cheese bread, and more.
So yes. I love tomateos.

But the truth is, I get just as excited about any and all of the magnificent edibles that make an appearance in our space. And lately my thoughts have been taken over by the Mighty (Winter) Squash Seedlings.  There’s something so inspiring about those broad, thick seed leaves as they thrust their hardy green selves through the dense clay soil we have here at our place.
It’s always fun here, because once I’ve finished sowing squash seeds in their designated spots, I always feel an urge to keep planting. So I’ll take the small paper envelope full of the smooth flat seeds and just start poking the seeds anywhere I find a bit of space. Invariably, I forget about at least some of them. Or I give up hope that they’ll ever sprout.
Then one day as I’m making my daily rounds, I’ll see it. That distinct pair of wide leaves pushing their way up through the earth.  And as the plant continues to grow, and grow, and grow, and grow, I give thanks. Such a hardy and amazing plant!
And then. Then comes the time we get to harvest the beautiful little package that is squash. Wide, narrow, tall, squat – they come in all different sizes and colors and densities, even. But without fail, they are opened up, scooped out and marveled over. Delicious, nutrient dense and versatile, these suckers make great soups, sides, breads, cakes, snacks (even the seeds!), and pies. 
Just when I think they can’t get any better… I realize that in order to keep these beauties from going bad so we can enjoy them through the fall and winter months all we have to do is…. keep them!! No canning, no drying, no freezing necessary.

Astounding.

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