Fall Farming

-Erika Rumbley

pumpkins2012-carol-lundeen.jpgNothing says autumn like a big ol’ squash. Before we even get to the smooth, sweet flesh, we’re drawn in by stripes and warts and splashes of color. From palm-sized Pumpkins to hefty Hubbards, these New World cucurbits inspire wonder.

Over the past ten days, the Langwater Farm Crew has faithfully stored 20,000 pounds of squash. We cut each squash from their vines and build long piles (or windrows) out of them, giving them pause in the field before they are crated up and delivered to the greenhouse for curing. For some varieties, we remove the stems (also known as ‘handles’) to ensure safe storage. On several startlingly chilly nights, we covered windrows of squash with fabric to protect their sweet, delicious flesh from damage. This season we grew 8 winter squash varieties from the traditional Acorn to the silky Kabocha and squat Buttercup. We’ll encourage you to eat butternut when it’s at its sweet best at Thanksgiving, but Delicata is sweet in September! The squash to slice open when the leaves begin to change is undoubtedly Delicata.

Delicata’s distinctive green stripes adorn a thin flesh that’s tender enough to eat! Unlike its cousins, Delicata does not need to be peeled. After it’s halved, a swipe with a spoon removes those nutty, nutritious seeds. Roast it up and you have autumn on a plate. A perfect supper after you get home from your Langwater Farm hay ride this weekend!