Delicata squash gets its name from its rind, which is delicate for a winter squash. It won’t keep as long as butternut or acorn varieties, which may last until April or May, but you can still have that taste of summer in mid-January if you store the squash in cool, dark conditions. The thin rind also makes Delicata easy to work with. It’s a small, oblong squash, pale yellow with dark green stripes. The flesh is orange, fine textured and sweet (another name for the plant is “sweet potato squash.”) It’s easy to grow and it ripens early. The cultivar most likely originated in Europe. The French naturalist and botanist Charles Victor Naudin illustrated the squash in 1856. It was introduced to Americans in 1894 by Peter Henderson & Co., a seed purveyor in New York. If you’ve never tasted a Delicata squash, you’re in for a treat. An Internet search yields hundreds of recipes - grilled, stuffed, roasted, baked and sautéed - along with mouth-watering photos. We’ll be giving out Delicata squash seeds at the Spring on Main street fair in Margaretville, Saturday May 14th from 10 am to 3 pm. Come by, say hello, and take home some seeds to get your garden growing. See you at the fair!
Saturday, May 14th - 10 am to 3 pm Join us at Margaretville's "Spring on Main" street fair this weekend. Stop by our booth to receive a free Delicata squash seedling to get your garden started. Home Goods of Margaretville is sponsoring a rhubarb cookoff with two categories: sweet and savory. Drop off your best recipe by 1:30 at Home Goods. Judging will take place at 2 pm. The top three winners will be awarded prizes. Kids can enjoy pony rides, there will be a fly casting demo, the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild will be conducting a craft workshop, and there will be live music by Ben Rounds. See you at the fair!
Thousands of years ago, our Stone Age ancestors domesticated food plants. Seeds from the best performers were selected for replanting and shared with others. Thus, the seeds that gardeners hold in their hands today form an unbroken chain of living links stretching back to antiquity. An Heirloom is a seed that was bequeathed to us from past generations. The Heirloom pedigree To qualify as an heirloom, a plant must meet certain requirements. Its heritage must pre-date 1951, when hybrid varieties were introduced by seed companies It must be open-pollinated by natural mechanisms such as wind, insects or birds It must breed true to type – the offspring must be identical to the parent Flavor vs. convenience Hybrid seeds are the result of scientists cross-breeding plants to develop certain traits. Hybrids were designed to meet the needs of the commercial grower, which are often in direct opposition to the preferences of home gardeners. For instance, whereas a commercial operation benefits if all of the produce ripens at once, the home gardener wants successive waves of ripe vegetables over the course of the summer. Scientists gleefully sacrificed flavor and nutrition to engineer produce with more bountiful harvests and thicker skins that would withstand long-distance shipping (one example is the uniformly red, tasteless blobs that are fobbed off as tomatoes.) By contrast, flavor and nutrition are everything to the home gardener. Breaking the chain Many hybrids are sterile, requiring human intervention to reproduce. Those hybrids that are fertile are genetically unstable – they do not breed true to type. Gardeners who are unaware that they’re growing hybrids can be in for a big surprise if they save and plant the seed. Should it germinate at all, the seed would revert [...]