Looking at the droopy squash leaves with a black-green color tells you that the temperature dipped low enough to form ice crystals. We are approaching the “first frost date”, mid-October, for our zone and region. So we set about clearing the squash patches.
These three orange squashes had been woodchuck favorites.
- Potimarron (French heirloom squash that has a hard skin and of the hubbard group) – small yield, 10 for us and 10 for the woodchucks.
- Orange Dawn – 50 for us!
- Boston Marrow (Originated in upstate NY with 200 years of history, now only grown by a very few. Listed in the Slow Food Ark of Taste) – small yield, 5 for us and 5 for the woodchucks. There are several immature fruits in shades of yellow still on the vine.
Blue hubbards curing in the field since last week, with newly collected pumpkins other orange squashes. The dark green are a hubbard-type squash called Anna Swartz. Leaving them outside to cure is a bit of field roulette, maybe the woodchucks will come for them, maybe the frost will descend upon us.
A butternut with lots of neck? Yes please, presenting the Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck squash. Critters seem to love seeds and I found a few with the seeds eaten out of the bulbous part.
Long Island Cheese pumpkin – 8 for us, 2 for the woodchucks.
The one and only Marina di Chioggia pumpkin. The plants did not do well.
The one and only Amish Pie pumpkin. There were a few immature fruits that set recently, and the plant is still flowering.
Closing out the summer vegetables, a surprise round of sweet bell peppers. After the first round of harvesting, I did not think the small fruits would size up. How wrong was I?
Last call for cucumbers. The leaves and vines are drying out.
I had no energy to plan a fall rotation, except these brussels sprouts. Taking off the top allows the plant to focus on developing the sprouts along the stem. The top ring of sprouts burgeoned to this size within 2 weeks.
While the fall snap peas I planted are spotty, and deer-munched, these volunteer seedlings came up all by itself from the spring planting. Although they will not have enough time to form pods, I do anticipate having some snap pea shoots in the next few weeks!