Sunday, September 23, 2007

Winter Squash Pantry



This year I'm proudly displaying our winter squash as they cure, rather than lining them up along the wall or countertop as clutter. Our printer stand makes a great little pantry for the squashes. Yes, that's a face on one of them. I offered to decorate some pumpkins for someone on Craigslist, and did a sample on a handy squash!


The two squashes in the foreground are both interesting. The big one is part kabocha, and I believe part banana squash. It was saved from a kabocha I bought in a farmer's market. There is a typical-looking small kabocha ripening outside from the same vines, and it is the same lovely gray-green as the very tip of this squash.




Right at that tip you'll see a tiny ridged squash. That is a Black Futsu, a Japanese squash with an unbelievably intense flavor. It starts out a green so dark that it almost looks black (hence the name), and then turns a dusty orange in storage. The parent squash was also small, but at least double the size of this one. There's another tiny one on the vine outside. I hope that they're edible-- one reason they could be so tiny would be that they crossed with some kind of gourd.


I'm starting to think that, while seed saving from the farmer's market is fun, I might want to plant more 'official' seeds next year and get a more consistent harvest. Since I don't have room for more than a couple of plants of any large cultivars, like squashes, a packet of seed lasts me several years and is a good investment. Ironically, I have an unopened packet of Black Futsu that I didn't plant, preferring to use the saved seed instead (as this packet is vacuum sealed).

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3 Comments:

Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

How pretty! I never saw futsus before this year. They are so beautiful I want to try them, but I have a LOT of squash to finish up first!

8:57 PM PDT  
Blogger JoanBailey said...

Hi there, Did you have any luck finding an official seed source for the Japanese squash? I'm currently on the hunt, and wondered if you had any leads. Many thanks! Joan

11:18 PM PST  
Blogger Strata said...

Hi Joan,

Yes, I was able to get Futsu and Hokkori seeds from http://www.kitazawaseed.com/ and grew both this year.


BTW, you'll want to keep these kinds of squashes off the ground by putting a tile or plastic bottle scrap or whatnot. I have had to cook a couple of kabocha early because those darn pillbugs penetrated the outer rind where it was on the ground and softer, making them unable to be stored for long periods. I've not had a problem with Butternut type squashes but have seen it with the kabochas.

cheers,
Strata

12:18 AM PST  

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