Racing the Frost for Squash

Racing the Frost for Squash

What does 15,000 pounds of winter squash look like? Yesterday we got to find out.

We’ve been harvesting small quantities of winter squash for the last few weeks, but once we heard the frost was coming, we had to pull as much squash out of the field as possible to keep it from freezing.

The squash harvest was an all-hands, all-day event, and all other projects on the farm were put on pause. We filled a whopping 32 macro bins (in the photo above) with pie pumpkins, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, kuri squash, hubbard squash, and multiple varieties of delicata and butternut squash.

To harvest them, the crew first waded through the jungle of squash plants, clipping squash off their vines. We piled them alongside each bed, sorting them into piles of squash that will ripen or last a while in storage, and those that should be used first due to blemishes. Next, a tractor drove through the field holding a macro. The crew divided into throwers and catchers: the throwers picked up squash and tossed it to the catchers, who placed the squash into the macro. It was an excellent workout!

We’ll keep the harvested squash in these plastic or cardboard macro bins, stacked inside two shipping containers, where they will cure and stay warm. We’ll be able to sell them throughout the fall and winter.