Welcome to Episode 2 of our Harvest of the Month video series, winter edition! This month’s episode is brought to you by Project GROWS, JMD Farm in Staunton, and the Virginia Family Nutrition Program. Join Patricia-Marie as she teaches us the different types of winter squash grown on our farms, when to harvest them, and how to cure them for longer storage! You will also learn how to cut and cook a Glazed Squash recipe, filmed in the brand new Staunton High School kitchen.
At the Project GROWS farm, we grow several types of winter squash, such as Red Kuri, Delicata, Butternut, and many varieties of pumpkins. Winter squash is actually grown in the summer and harvested in the fall, then cured so that it can be enjoyed all winter. It’s an example of a storage crop, which means it stores well long after it’s been harvested. Winter squash grows on a vine and the squash is the flowering portion of the plant. It is ready to be harvested between 50 to 60 days after you sow it. After the vine starts to die, the squash can be cut two inches from the vine to leave the stem intact for curing.
Curing is the process of storing vegetables in warmer temperatures to allow the skin to harden. We do this because it helps the skin of the squash dry and get tough for the winter! Farmers cure vegetables to prevent them from rotting and extend the life of the vegetables for several months.
Download the Recipe for Glazed Squash!
Squash have very large seeds. When making this recipe, you can set the seeds aside to use for planting next year, or you can roast them to snack on later! So if you are carving pumpkins this fall, save those seeds!