Harvesting Kabocha Squash
My biggest squash yield this year came from my Kabocha squash patch – which is a good thing because I LOVE the sweet orange squash. One of the things that’s fun (and maybe a little annoying) about squash is that the fruit hides among a plethora of leaves. I spend a good part of my summer thinking that the squash crop is a total bust.
But then comes fall, and when the frost hits the leaves and they wither and shrink away, then the fun begins! I find squash like timid rabbits hunkering in a corner, or crawled into a box to swell in private. Of course, it isn’t just the Kabocha that does this. The little acorn squashes are pretty devious as well, sneaking behind shrubs, dragging their vines behind them.
Pumpkins can also not be trusted to stay put. I thought I’d had my pumpkin harvest, and then spied this big baby behind the keyhole garden.
Just as squash show up in the right time, so does the sugar in the squash, but you must be patient. After you locate the fully grown squash (and we’re talking winter squash here, not summer, i.e. zucchini types) you cut them leaving a good four inches of stem, let them hang out in some nice weather a few days to harden up, then store them in a cool place, like a garage, on a dry bed of newspaper or straw. Wait to eat them, because the sugars in the Kabocha will increase with time. A month after harvest they will be sweet and mellow and very much worth the wait.