Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Think - Squash In Your Closet

Last week I did a workshop for container gardening and it got me thinking about a few thoughts I have wanted to share. So here goes – Perhaps you can expand your concept of preparedness and a garden, taking it into a closet.

Many of us have been scheming and planning about how much, where, and what kinds of plants or seeds to attempt to put in a garden this year. Lots of news stories are emphasizing the fact that more people are trying to garden this year than have been doing so since the Victory Gardens from years ago. Which means of course that this year the price of seeds and bedding plants have doubled. That’s Ok. You need to figure out how to do something anyway. It doesn’t matter if it is small, tall, skinny or in a weird shape, just find a place or a container or two.

While you are figuring and while there is still sufficient time for growth I have another suggestion for you. Why not think of preparedness, good food and your pantry at the same time. Of course you are thinking that I am thinking of canning and freezing. Nope, not this time. But what about some long term storage items without canning or freezing or drying? Find a corner or a patch or a large bucket or tub and have fun.

Think about how many winter squash that you can grow. Perhaps Hubbard, Banana, Pumpkins and all of the HUGE ones may not work. Consider Acorn, Butternut, Turban and some of the others that you may find in your area. All of these squash are relatively small and are known as winter squash. Keep in mind that towards fall, as frost approaches, you can leave zucchini on the vine and it will also harden. These small winter squash may be kept on the floor of a closet, in a box or on the shelf of a closet or in the corner of a basement or room where it is cool. They will keep best if you prevent them from touching. They will keep at least a month or two, which in turn will extend your grocery budget a little bit. Some will last several months if kept cool enough.

But to have them in the fall you need to get them planted now. Enjoy the yellow blossoms with the black bumble and honey bees in them.