BEFORE THE FROST IS ON THE PUMPKIN ..& on the winter
squash & gourds.
Anne K Moore
squash, pumpkins and other gourds should be harvested before frost nips at
their skins. At harvest time, the skins
should be tough enough to withstand a poke from a fingernail. Pumpkins should be their ripe color, be it
orange or blue, or they will not last in storage. Carving the Halloween pumpkin also
shortens its life.
All should be harvested when the vines have turned
brown and shriveled. Cut them from the
vines with a knife or other sharp instrument.
Be sure to leave two to four inches of stem on the squash, pumpkins, and
gourds. If the stem breaks off, they are
prone to rotting.
There are many recipes out there for using pumpkin
and winter squash. Try the Crustless
Pumpkin Cheesecake offered by Chef Linda Weiss in our newsletter this month.
Winter squash choices include: Spaghetti, Delicata, Sweet Dumpling,
Butternut, Acorn, and Hubbard. ‘Bonbon’
is a 2005 AAS (All America Selections) winner.
‘Sunshine’, a 2004 winner, resembles a deep orange pumpkin.
Gourds are grown for their ornamental or useful
appeal. Dipper and birdhouse gourds are
useful with just a little carving; turban and gooseneck gourds are ornamental
hanging in the garden and are fun to display after they are harvested.
Check out these websites for full information on
drying and preserving these underused vegetables:
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY;
OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES COUNTY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE;