|This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay.
I’m part of a small group of bloggers who want to stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.
|Link to This week’s list|
|Link to my Story Blog. Come share a laugh with me.|
Ah – there you are. Come in, come in and make yourself at home.
It’s a bright and shiny Saturday morning here in Sonoma County. The temperature is is bouncing around, as is common for us this time of year, and today we’re expecting low 80s F with low 80s in humidity also. This combination is too hot/humid for my comfort but everyone else seems comfortable, so I’ll just have to stay in front of my fan and write. Such a bummer. . .
Hey, I hope you noticed the photo above. I did a major harvest from the giant spaghetti squash plant in our accidental garden and pulled out 8 healthy fruit. I know I said in last week’s coffee share that it would be the last visit to our accidental garden, but I decided I had enough material for one final visit because this group just likes to know stuff.
The first harvest was 7 fruit total even though it was really one by one over about a week and a half. I’m calling these new 8 fruit our 2nd harvest and here’s what I’ve learned so far.
- For spaghetti squash, you don’t want to touch the branches, bottom of the leafs or stems with bare hands. They all have small thorns that are softer than rose thorns but will still leave you wishing you hadn’t grabbed them.
- If you need/want to prune some leaf stocks, you can fold the top of the leaf back on itself and use a simple pocket knife to easily cut the stock. The top of the leaf is thorn-free so can be handled and the stock is not as dense as say celery. Your knife should slide right through it.
- The branches are soft can also be easily pruned with your knife, just pick up your cuttings up by folding back a large leaf to pick up throw the branch into your mulch pile for next year’s harvest. A day later the branch will look like a deflated balloon.
- In the full sun of a hot day, all the leaves can droop badly and make the plant look distressed even after a recent watering. This appears to be normal as I’ve seen it often, watered the plant again when the direct sun passed and left the the plant in the shade and wow – you can almost watch the leaves recover.
- We read an article that spoke about the fruit rotting if left in contact for too long with damp ground and suggested some means of lifting the fruit while allowing water to drain past it. I cut up the bottom of a plastic 18 count flat of eggs for a short stint helping us before recycling. It seems to have worked perfectly.
- When ripe, the shell of the fruit is a rich yellow, not greenish yellow and solid to the touch and if tapped with something solid (like the handle of your knife) it will sound almost like hollow wood.
- If you press your thumbnail into it hard enough, you can leave a small mark and when you harvest, the stem is much easier to bend and break than it is to cut. The stem is very dense and will not cut easily. I decided to carve out a notch where I want the stem to break and carefully bending it so not to damage the softer branch,which other fruit likely still depend on. This allowed me to snap the stem right where I wanted it.
- The fruit are big and heavy. Don’t use a basket to collect them, but a large heavy cardboard box should do the trick.
- Just rinse and wipe them off. Let them dry and store in a cool and dry spot – like our pantry shelf pictured above. I think they’ll keep for a few weeks, but we’ve never had them last long enough to find out how long.
- I’ve decided that I like the taste of oven-baking them rather than microwave-steaming because the resulting noodles are less moist (which easily becomes soggy and less pleasant). I just place both halves, facing up in an un-greased pan, brush all the insides with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and bake @ 400 F for 30 minutes.
- The practical yield from one fruit is enough for 2 large helping meals for 2 people.
- My favorite remains, a breakfast bowl of the noodles covered with a mild salsa (sugar-free) microwave reheated and stirred for breakfast or switch out a curry sauce for rich dinner.
- My son still like to bury a bowl of it with grated cheese and take it with him for a microwaved lunch at work.
Our plant has caught its stride and I can already see at least another 2 which could likely be taken now, but I’d prefer to store them on the plant while we eat down the herd in the pantry. I’ve also counted a 3rd harvest of at least 8 more small fist-size to almost fully grown greenish-white fruit coming in fast. I’ve framed a new and ready to harvest fruit so you can see the color difference. You can also tell where I had to cull out some branches and leaf stocks to defend the walking path near our mulch pile and accidental garden.
I’d love to hear any results your have with your own experiments. It was a pleasure having you along for this now completed (really – this time I mean it) visit to our accidental garden.
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be over at your venue in just a while. See you there.