Winter squash and pumpkin harvest

winter squashI finally wrapped up the bulk of my winter squash and pumpkin harvest this morning. There are still two ‘Lakota’ winter squash that haven’t quite passed the “thumbnail test,” so I’ve left them on the vines. Otherwise, things are looking good.

I put everything into my little greenhouse for 2 weeks of curing. You might recall I did some initial picking about 2 weeks ago so I could share with you my tip about curing the squash before putting them into storage for the winter. If you missed it, here’s a link to the video on my YouTube channel. Anyway, that first batch of squash can now be moved into my basement.

Here are the final numbers for my winter squash and pumpkin harvest:

Sugar pumpkins: 26

‘Cream of the Crop’ acorn squash: 22

Sweet dumpling squash: 6

‘Lakota’ squash: 4 (and hopefully the last two in the garden soon)

Sweet Meat: 6

Delicata: 17

All in all, I’m pretty pleased.

We do a lot of baking with the sugar pumpkins — plus use some for Halloween decor — so even though that sounds like a huge number, that should work out pretty well. We’ll share some, too.

The ‘Cream of the Crop’ acorn squash was amazing! I bought the seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds¬†and was intrigued by the description indicating that you can pick them young as summer squash or let them mature to use as winter squash. It also stated that it was a “bush-type” squash. Well, as I’ve said earlier, that last part wasn’t correct. They are definitely the vining type but I didn’t hold that against them since they were so prolific. I intend to roast one this weekend and will let you know what I think of the quality. If they are as tasty as the more conventional dark-green acorn squash (which I haven’t had good luck with), ‘Cream of the Crop’ will really be a winner.

winter squash
This shows how large the (green) Sweet Meat squash are.

The Sweet Dumplings were a bit of a disappointment this year. Ordinarily, I’d harvest at least a dozen of them. I’m not sure why they didn’t perform well. They are very tasty when roasted, so I’m a little bummed at the smaller harvest.

The ‘Lakota‘ were also disappointing. The four that I’ve harvested so far are quite small compared to last year’s harvest. I’m wondering if they might have needed a bit more space to grow better. Their neighbors — those pesky acorn squash — were taking up more than their fair share of room!

Even though I only harvested 6 ‘Sweet Meat‘ squash, I’m not feeling too badly because most of them are huge. And let me tell you, if you’ve never tasted a roasted ‘Sweet Meat’, you are missing out! Consider picking one up at a farmer’s market or grocery store and give them a try. You’ll be hooked. I promise.

The Delicatas were a very pleasant surprise since I had a problem with other Delicata seeds last year. I think 17 is a pretty good result. They are also amazing when roasted, especially with lots of garlic and a drizzle of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mm-mmm!