Thursday, August 28, 2008

Squash, Anyone?

We tried an experiment this year. After some reading on the internet, I figured we could make a try at growing part of our garden over our septic field. I know, I know, don't think about it too much. Most of the research I read said that if you have clay soil (which we do), then all the "yucky stuff" gets filtered out in the first couple of inches up from the drainage pipes, leaving all the "good stuff" (i.e. things that made us have the greenest, thickest patch of tumbleweeds this side of the Mississippi. Wait, do tumbleweeds grow East of the Mississippi? Never mind...) to feed the plants.

Point is, we've been eating off of the garden for weeks now, and no one has gotten sick. Sam growing a third ear doesn't count. No really, he's not, I'm just fooling with you.

Is this a jungle, you may ask? No, it's just the squash patch. You're looking at the butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and pumpkins. And it IS a jungle. I haven't been able to get in there for 6 weeks. I think I'll just wait for the first frost before I try to venture into that jumble of growth. The fuzzy patch at the bottom of the photo is our watermelon section. We have 6 lovely watermelon growing.

And these, my friends, are the cause of all my problems. These are the 5 bushes of summer squash. We have 1 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, and 2 patty pan squash. Pictures really don't do this justice. The patty pan squash, in front, is the largest I've ever seen. It's almost 6 feet in diameter (and was only supposed to be 3).

Here are my lovely butternut squash. I have no idea how many we have, since I can't get in there, but it's a lot!

And the yellow squash. They look tranquil and lovely, but don't be fooled!

Zucchini. Only one plant, so we're doing better, here.

This is the spaghetti squash. We've got a lot of these, too.

And bugs! Whoa! I think that there are thousands and thousands living in our patch. I'm not exaggerating. In the morning, there are so many bees buzzing around in the patch that I think we should get a cut from the beekeeper!

And here, my friends, is the problem. This is the squash that I have harvested in the last 24 hours. No joke. 45. Forty-five squash. We could be a math lesson for Bethany's kindergarten class. Wait, they don't count that high in kindergarten.

We have eaten in the past two weeks: summer squash gratin, 2 types of zucchini bread, sauteed summer veggies with herbs, ratatouille (so, so yummy!), stuffed squash, and just plain steamed with butter. I have grated and frozen 10 sandwich bags full of squash. I have 3 gallon sized bags full of cubed frozen squash. Please, send help.

Come to my house. And take some of our squash home with you. Please, please, please...
Or at least send your favorite summer squash recipe.

And, I think, that our garden adventure was a bit more success than I can handle.


Lara said...

Yum! I love all squash....too bad I live a bit too far to take some off your hands! :)

Mama M said...

Ditto from Mom.

Here is my favorite squash recipe:

Summer Squash Brownies

1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 & 1/2 cups white sugar, 1 T. vanilla, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt, 2 T. water, 2 cups shredded zucchini or other summer squash, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine all wet ingredients until smooth, stir in dry ingredients, mix to a smooth batter and fold in the squash and nuts. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes. Can be frosted when cool, but they don't need it!

Joanna said...

Holy green thumb! Nice job there. Enjoy the eating. I also wish you were closer, and not just so I could eat your squash.

(Oh, BTW, thank you for the baby package! I can't wait for Eli to grow into his cute booties!)

Lara said...

Mary, I am sorry I forgot to link you on the photography buddy list. You totally should have been there.

AND...I am so jealous of both your camera and your new lens. Someday. :)

Also, I'm glad I came back to see your mom's recipe. That looks very very good.

Kim said...

WOW! I don't think I can say any more than that. I'm not a squash lover, so I don't have any recipes for you. There's always the ding-dong-ditch approach. Although the neighbors might know where all the squash came from. Hmmm.

I've also heard legends of people checking for unlocked cars in the church parking lot on Sundays...

Becky said...

Hehehe. Good luck, Mary! 45??? Holy squash, Batman!

Sara said...

You are my inspiration! We look forward to harvesting just about anything next year.

We miss you too!

Lizardbreath McGee said...

Wow! Who knew plants loved sewage so much!

Jill said...

I am so glad you have all the squash your little heart can desire! I still remember you talking about all your land that you wanted to plant are the fruit trees coming along? Do you have your orchards yet? :0)

Bonnie and Brian Wayne said...

Wow - I am jealous.

I planted all those varieties and got some great amounts - but this year the squash bugs infestd themselves inside the stem and massacred our beautiful squash plants. If we were in CO I would saunter over there.

Those plants look RIDICULOUSLY healthy!!!!!

PS Don't forget to puree lots - and get the cookbook "deceptively delicious" - you will be set for years!

jennette said...

You are amazina Mary! I heard that Becky is coming for an extended visit. I'm so jealous! Have fun! Love ya!

Dana and Chris Robb said...

Oh so jealous! You know, if you want, you can just mail me some :) I just put together a delicious soup recipe for summer squash, not to brag or anything but I took it to a lunch group and they raved over it. Give it a try.

Summer Squash Soup
From Dana Robb

Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes:

2 Tblsp Coconut oil (or other oil)
¼ - ½ cup chopped onions

Add and sauté another 5 minutes:

½ tsp +/- cumin
1 tsp salt
3 cups cubed crooked neck squash (if older or big squash peel and seed)

Add 2 cups water and boil 20 min or until water is almost gone.

1 cup corn (if using fresh corn add at the same time as the squash)
1 tblsp + vegenaise
dash cayenne
dash black pepper

Puree until smooth and serve warm.