A Squash Fit for Jack

My first Table King and my largest ever squash.

I poke and prod, tap and test, it’s always nerve wracking when it comes time to harvest squash. There are many ways to test, poking with a nail, checking the stem, the colour, hearing a hollow sound when tapped, but in the back of your mind you still remain uncertain, never wanting to undo the work you’ve put in, but leave it too long and you’ll lose the chance for a second set. This one looks great, I’l have to cure it for three days before I use it. These are supposed to be sweeter so this will probably become bread or pasta sauce. Maybe jam, I’m still tinkering with that idea. I’d like a set jam rather than a sweet mash.

It’s so heavy. I was scared I’d drop it.

This year’s second type is vastly better looking than the golden nugget squash. I don’t know for certain if acorn types do better in Irish weather, but that does seem to be holding true. I won’t delve into an in-depth history of my squash growing practices because, well, I’ve done that before *Cough*. Anyway, just a quick recap for the newer readers, or the forgetful older ones, I grew these in thirty six litre hadpots, collapsible pots, lined at the bottom with compost, topped with potting soil amended with granular feed, not slow release, then when they started to set fruit I added bone-meal and started feeding with tomato feed. If things go well it c be a fairly simple task to grow squash, but if they go awry, then you’ll have your work cut out for you. I’ve been to hell and heaven with squash. They’re worth it though, every time.

The side that never saw sun.

It even has a crown.

There are a few more starting to finish ripening. They seem to go from patterned but still unready to finished and ready to harvest suddenly. I can’t remember how many I planted, over a dozen at least, mostly harlequin as the Table King seeds had trouble germinating. Whether it was weather or something else I can’t say for certain. I can see the plant struggling to produce this as the inside where the new leaves are is all scraggly and stunted. It might be able to bounce back and re-flower. I hope it will. I can freeze this as a mash and use it in baking or just as pasta sauces, you’d be surprised how nice it is to pull this out in a few months when the squash is finished. The harlequin is a different squash entirely, they’ll be roasted, sauteed, mashed and who knows what else. They’re my potato replacement and the best I’ve ever tried. These will hopeful be sweeter and still versatile.

Acorn squash are great for pots.

Curly kale…what is curly kale? I mean, no, I better Google it.

I’ll keep you updated on the harvest, whether or not you want me to, so until then take care, dear reader.

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