Monday, September 20, 2010

Feasting on Famine Food

Fleecenik called Hubbard Squash famine food.



Deus Ex Machina harvested the volunteer vines in the backyard. They'd all died back, and even though it's still early, we can feel that it's getting time to start putting the gardens to bed for the winter.

The harvest, including the two that were already picked, was a dozen squash ... and there are a few more on the vines in the front yard.

Incredible!

I'm seriously thinking that I might intentionally grow hubbard squash next year.

Or, we'll just eat the volunteers and toss the seeds in the compost like we did last year. Perhaps, nature will, again, be so generous.

I'm very thankful for the squash this year. Apples aren't doing well. A late frost destroyed most of the crop. We went apple picking this weekend at a local orchard. This was, likely, their last weekend for PYO. We were told that the frost had destroyed 95% of their crop. They are one of two local suppliers of winter storage apples to the Hannaford stores.

We picked a bushel and that will give us about a dozen quart jars of applesauce. We'll need at least twice that, and best would be three times. We're hoping to pick at a different orchard - one further south of us that didn't get hit by the freak frost. The goal is two more bushels for sauce and at least a bushel for storage. I have a feeling that local apples at the grocery store this winter aren't going to be as available as they usually are.

Since apples will be in short supply, I'm really thankful for the squash. Last year, the recipe I used was similar to this one. It was delicious, and as luck would have it, we harvested maple syrup this year, too ;). We're in the process of harvesting acorns, and while they are probably not a really good substitute for walnuts, I figure worst case scenario, properly prepared and roasted, they'd do.

I may also cook a few of them and substitute it for pumpkin in this canned pumpkin bread recipe. I make at least one batch of the bread every year, and it is so incredible! The best part is having canned pumpkin bread to give the girls on those days when we're busy all day, as a quick snack. They LOVE it!

I realized that when I took the picture of all of the squash squashed together that they don't really look like all that much.

So, I took a second picture for perspective.



That's a standard-sized basketball. The squash is bigger. I thought it was pretty cool ;).

9 comments:

  1. Those squash are not bad at all, considering they are volunteers - your land is generous alright. Hope the apples will be better next season

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  2. Oh my, I'm so glad you took the second picture - I would not have realized the size of those things!!!!

    So sorry about the frost up there - definitely come south, the apple picking was very good this year. I have gone once and my son just went again to another orchard. The price was right and the pickings were very good! Applesauce is on the agenda for this week again, too!

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  3. I planted a half dead Hubbard squash rescued from the local hardware store for about 50 cents. I have 2 HUGE squash on the vine, and one small one that fell off! I have never eaten hubbard before...I've heard it is pretty good.

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  4. Wow, I hope my tomato's volunteer something next year. This year was kind of a dry year. ;)

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  5. Wow!! Impressive squash! None of us really care for squash, but do let us know how it does in replacement for the pumpkin bread-- I love pumpkin bread!

    Apple prices are high here too with the lack of rain. I'm planning to go to the local orchard tomorrow to see what I can get and how much a bushel will cost. Last year, a bushel of jonathan apples cost $17, year before that was $12. Hopefully $20 or less this year. We'll see.

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  6. I recently heard on the news that the apple crop is down 20% this year due to lack of rain in this area. I had expected an even greater loss. I'll gladly pay the higher prices and keep my fingers crossed for a better yield next year.

    That is a neat trick about canning pumpkin bread. It gives me another reason to buy a few small pie pumpkins this year ;)

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  7. Well whaddayaknow! a trip to the apple orchard today and I was pleasantly surprised to find out a bushel of jonathans was $12! I bought 2-- one of jonathans and 1 golden delicious.

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  8. That's so awesome, Jenny! We paid $28 for a bushel of PYO apples :).

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  9. Tons of apples at Shackley Hill Orchard in Livermore...

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