Squash is the Star of Thanksgiving

Squash is the Star of Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’d like to talk about one of the shining stars of Thanksgiving: squash.

Squash, in my opinion, is one of the most fun and communal crops here at Red Dog. This year we planted something like 20 beds of squash of 8 different varieties. That’s A LOT of squash. And when it’s harvest time, it’s all hands on deck. The entire crew works together to clip the stems off the vines, and then we play a frantic game of catch as some people throw squash to others who place them in macro bins. (Read more about this year’s squash harvest in a previous newsletter, “Racing the Frost for Squash.”)

We have two storage containers that keep the squash at a consistent temperature and humidity, and away from any rodents that want a nibble. At first, all 32 macro bins were in there. Now it’s probably closer to 15. On frosty mornings when it’s too cold to harvest delicate spinach leaves, we all file into the containers. We give each squash a once-over, checking it for blemishes and making sure it has a stem. We scrub the dirt off with damp towels before putting it in a box to send out to our customers.

This process is not always glamorous. Despite our best efforts at proper storage, every once in a while, we find a squash that didn’t stand the test of time. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of reaching down to grab what you hope will be the perfect butternut, but your hand punctures decaying skin and grabs a handful of soggy seeds.

It’s something that we’ve all experienced here at Red Dog, one of the little funny things that bonds us. As the days get shorter, we now find ourselves in the squash containers at the end of the day wearing headlamps. It’s amusing, and we are often in good spirits as we work to clean 300 pounds of spaghetti squash to be delivered the next morning.

I hope you enjoy the squash in your CSA share this week — I know we’ve enjoyed getting it to you.

– Lizz