Friday, July 31, 2015

Beaver Lake walk, Asheville, NC

a Beaver Lake sunset

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A robust tromboncino squash (and other squash musings)

An exuberant squash patch
I've been growing tromboncino squash for many years as an alternative to summer squash, which always seem to succumb to squash vine borers both in the Piedmont and in the mountains.  Not to mention squash bugs.

The C. moschata varieties (which include tromboncino) are somewhat hairy, and resistant to the moth that lays the eggs that become the squash vine borers (its larvae).

I even resorted this year (in my front beds) to growing butternuts (in addition to the tromboncino and another Mexican variety - Tatume) as an experiment.  I don't have room for butternuts to mature, for sure, but I thought, hmm, why not see what they taste like as immature squash?

They're not bad -- a interesting rich flavor compared to "normal" summer squash, with a dense texture to match.  I've been harvesting them at about 3 inches long.

But I've been amazed at how robust my squash plantings have been, both above and below in the raised beds.  The lower bed (in the picture) is amazing -- I was quite sure the local woodchuck would nibble the seedlings to nubbins, but they got beyond that size, and quickly attained a large tough quality (presumably) that wasn't appealing. (I've had them mow down young squash seedlings in the past).

So (thanks to a combination of planting late and circumstance), my squash vines look great -- we'll see if they produce (the lower bed is starting to flower now, but looks a bit nitrogen-rich, thanks to plentiful mushroom compost in the spring!)

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