Connie MooreLast year we decided to explore the world of giant edible cucurbita maxima. Relatives to pumpkins, winter squash differ in that their shells are rock hard, able to withstand months of storage.

That’s why we resorted to a method of opening them closely related to the primitive form of punkin chunkin or tossing pumpkins as far as one’s bursitis will allow. I say primitive because today the event of flying pumpkins is sophisticated to the umph degree.

Formal and informal competitions exist in just about every state. It is a state of wild, boisterous crowds, men who are as proud of their machines as anyone at Nascar. From sling-shots to pneumatic air cannons, pumpkins shoot into the sky day and night. Tom’s Corn Maze in Germantown, Ohio, even paints the orbs iridescent orange to glow in the early night darkness. Pretty impressive as flying objects go.

But I digress. Our objects of magnitude included a 20-pound football-shaped blue Hubbard, a 2-foot long Pink Banana and a 13-pound Cushaw with a bottom bowl measurement of 28 inches. They lay nestled among 16 average to large butternut squash. Everyone who entered the kitchen stopped and stared, asking, “What’s going on here?” I answered, “My field of dreams.”

squash collection

Passing up recommendations of hatchets, sledge hammer and chisel, electric knives and even a chain saw, we opted for the easy, safe way recommended by the Big Apple Farm in Wrentham, Massachusetts.

9/17/2015 9:34:47 AM

We have raccoon and skunks that climb our fence. We do not grow the winter squash here for that reason. We find a farmer market that sells them. This year only butternut squash are available so we'll go with them. Have a great autumn. Thanks for the comments. At Home in Ohio

9/16/2015 10:32:05 PM

Connie, yeah, squash and pumpkins would have been nice this year but the pesky deer decided that the buds were a gormet delight and ate every single one off as well as some of the leaves. Nothing but stems poking up in the air. They struggled and tried to recover but it just wasn't in the naked plants to make it. My three year project is close to being completed. I started to build a six foot wooden fence around my garden area. The 260 feet of fence is down to the last couple sections and the deer issue will be foiled. Now raccoons are different story. They can dig, jump, climb, and it's pretty difficult to keep them out of a place they want to get into. They do love sweet corn. I have a plan for next year that envolves many defense lines. Hopefully, next year will be my first taste of corn from my garden area. It's been a total loss for the last four years. ***** Have a great pumpkin/squash harvest day.

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