You have probably heared summer gardening jokes about dumping zucchini on someone else. You know, leave a basket of baseball bat sized zucchine at someone’s door, ring the bell and run. Sneak over to their car and fill the driver’s seat with yellow crook neck squash. The issue is that if you grow squash, summer or winter varieties, you will have more than you can consume or find willing recipients for. And, once you have grown squash, the blemish will show up year after year, regardless of whether you plant it again.
Now, do not conclude that I dislike squash. Yellow, green, bi-color, orange. I love all the colors on my plate, decoratively, during the Fall months. In winter, load my soup bowl with pumpkin soup, and mix spagghetti squash into my pasta. We even put it into our Dog Stew. Bella and Tippy love squash.
We grew various types of squash for years, until too many squash bettles and vine borers began to ruin the crop each year. A few years ago, we stopped planting squash to see if a few seasons without would rid our garden of the pests. We figured that squash is pretty easy to buy at the farmer’s market. The farmers can contend with planting, tending, and harvesting.
However, every year, squash plants slip a few seeds into our compost and regenerate harvest. We keep track of where the large, green leaves show up. Some are misplaced. Others find a nice spot. Those that come up near the edge of the garden toward the field, we direct to grow into the field. Come harvest time, we follow the vines into the goldenrod, tansey, joe-pye weed, and phlox. Take two wheel barrels. One collects the squash, the other the vines to discard. This year, a couple of vines found their way into and up a dogwood tree. Hmmm. How do you harvest gords fifteen feet up?
If you are in mind for a pratical joke, the Vicar’s Dad told me once that he understood the principle of over-supply of squash at an early age. During World War II, he would sneak around the neighborhood, planting pumpkin seeds in folk’s Victory Gardens. The seedlings would sprout. He would watch to see who did not know that soon their gardens would be taken over. They were SQUASHED.