Prized by cooks for its versatility, buttery-rich winter squash is a go-to veggie in the fall. But on the production end, it takes a little more time on the vine. Our gardener, Mary Beth Shaddix, sowed seeds this spring. By late summer, she was pushing aside enormous umbrella-like leaves to check their progress.
Unlike summer squash, winter squash needs to be harvested when the skin is too hard for a fingernail to dent. For best storage, it needs to first sit, or "cure," in a dry, sunny spot for several weeks after harvest. "One of my favorite things about squash is that it can store until we're planting lettuces again in early spring," Shaddix says. "It's a sweet reminder of our productive summer garden during the coldest months."