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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ag Report 1- The Cucurbitas

I have been inspired by Stew at Seasons in the Valley to bring you a bit of a local agriculture report. I'm a farm kid at heart, you know.

There are lots of different crops here, and I'm getting ready to be gone to Duluth for a few days, but I'll bring you a few pictures today. And it will be the Curcubitas (squash and relatives).

The two I expected to find are setting fruit and beginning to ripen. Most commonly found around here are fields of pumpkins. Can you find the big green one hiding in the leaves? No orange yet- too early. There are still blossoms!

pumpkin field

The other expected one looks like this.

butternut squash field

Care to hazard a guess? These are closer to being ripe, but probably two months before they harvest them. It's butternut squash.

butternut squash field

However, this one was a mystery to me. I called in the experts (namely Chuck of Secondary Roads) to find out what it was. I sure never saw anything that grows like that! Turns out, I have eaten it, though, compliments of Chuck and Sylvia, so he easily enlightened me.

orange zucchini field

This is orange zucchini. I would have thought this was a novelty vegetable (technically, squash is a fruit), but here is a HUGE field of it. The tractors and crates were circled at the edges, so they are getting ready to harvest. It sort of looks like it will be harvested by hand. Not sure, but there were carts like people ride to pick asparagus.

Anyway, it sure grows funny! And the leaves are awesome. I stole two. Shhh. They were right on the edge of the field, broken off a plant. One was very small and one was half rotten, so I don't think they'll be missed. They are being transformed into bread as I type. (And it made good bread- I just had a piece)

orange zucchini field

They don't really taste as good as regular zucchini, so I have to wonder where all this orange bounty is headed.

Me, I have to hit the road in the morning. As early as I can. Well, this is me. It won't be THAT early!

See Creepy Crawlies? for butternut squash
See Farm Country in Fall for the pumpkin harvest
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The Furry Gnome said...

Very interesting! I've never seen orange zucchini. You must be in the middle of a serious veggie area - not much of that right here outside of home gardens.

Ann said...

well I've seen pumpkin and squash plants before but I have never seen anything like that orange zucchini. I didn't even know there was such a thing. A very interesting plant

rose AKA Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

I'm most often more than a bit unsettled by seeing large expanses of monocultures. At least I see a "weed" or two growing in the mix. :) In any event, I do love squash of every heirloom variety ~ and grow a few myself!

vanilla said...

Rose would certainly be unsettled were she to view the soybean or cornfields surrounding us. Oh, thanks for the orange report. I did not know there was such a cultivar of zucchini, but clearly I'm not alone in that.

Lin said...

I knew the butternut squash, but I have never seen the orange zucchini. Very cool!

Secondary Roads said...

I agree that the orange (or yellow) zucchini is not as good to eat as the green version. However, being firmer it may ship easier (less damage). I'll go for the familiar green model every time. Thanks for the shout out.