The air is changing. There is a distinct dampness in the fields these days, even in moments of sun, which shifts to clouds, and back to sun. The wind is up often and the days are shortening rapidly. Bob said around 3 minutes of light are lost daily. Hard not to notice that. That said, the hot crops are on their way out. The solanaceae family (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes), don't put on continued growth in these conditions. Our nighttime temps are dipping. Would it were that we had conditions like India where eggplants are a perennial and reach heights of 7 feet.
Now we have the chance to enjoy the various asian greens and the brassicas. Our brocolli aren't sizing up, but we'll include the smaller more delicate side shoots in the harvest whenever we can. The cauliflower DID NOTHING. They are not crops we rely on since they are finicky (especially open-pollinated types). Their fresh deliciousness keeps us planting them in hope of a good crop though.
Over the next distribution days we'll be harvesting the 7 varieties of squash and 3 varieties of pumpkins that were planted this season. All have storage capabilities. We tended towards smaller ones that individuals or families can eat in a single sitting, though there are a couple with more bulk. Some sweeten with age (like marina di chioggia) and others deteriorate (like delicata). You can eat them now or save them for the leaner months. We keep them in a visible spot and monitor them somewhat closely. We eat the fruits that are beginning to develop soft spots, which can be cut out. They are alive, thus ever changing in color, texture and flavor.
The skin is edible. Nothing has been sprayed on the plants or fruits at any time of their growth.
new england pie pumpkin: these are popular for their size and flavor in cooking. they produce reliably well in our climate. p.s. very tasty pies can be made out of many varieties including the buttercup and marinas.
jack o' Lantern pumpkin: description needed? We've got a range of sizes with a few beasts that will likely be given out to the whole shares.
lumina pumpkin: white! You can do a Halloween painting on them and then cook the edible flesh.
uchiki Kuri: big plump raindrop shape. the flesh is dry and there's usually around 3 pounds of it.
thelma sanders sweet potato squash: new for us this year from seed savers exchange. they're a cream colored acorn and the plants pumped out lots of fruit. couple pounds apiece; well suited to single or double servings.
buttercup: this squash has set the benchmark over the years for all other small winter squash. Fruits have a thin hard dark green rind. Usually around 3-5 pounds. Sweet orange flesh. They're a medium length keeper.
kikuza: another new one from Seed Savers. This is what they have to say, "A Japanese heirloom pumpkin, introduced in the United States by the Oriental Seed Company of San Francisco in 1927. Orange cinnamon rind is ribbed and somewhat wrinkled; flesh is thick, sweet, rather spicy, and tender. The small size (4-7 pounds) makes it ideal for baking and roasting"
Guatemalan blue banana: grown for some handsome unusual-ness about the garden. Rings can be cut off of it for roasting of baking.
marina di Chioggia (foto coming soon): a large drier fleshed squash, well suited for soups and making into pasta. Hails from Italy. Keeps very well and the flavor continues to improve. The biggest squash we grew this year.
If you have any questions...Flip