In order for your garden to serve you well, this is the time to gather all that is ripe and create healthy soups and stews made from your vegetable harvest.
As I walk through the Pine Street Community Garden in Carlsbad, each gardener has their own overflow, which if not processed now will turn to seed or fall off the vine.
In the case of many tomatoes, the indeterminate variety (such as many of the cherry and small tomatoes) will produce for the next month, and then die off.
One of the most prolific crops in our Senior Garden was squash.
Butternut squash, zucchini and spaghetti squash all flourished in the raised beds, which received full sun all day.
Winter squash and small pumpkins are often left in the field because they become so prolific (ours produced over 10 two pound beauties, but we ended up giving many away to other gardeners).
As with other squash, the winter butternut squash flesh is heavy and full of golden goodness, unlike the summer squash, which must be used almost immediately or they rot either on the vine or on your kitchen table.
Various squash can be slow-cooked along with hearty greens, such as kale, onions and garlic for flavor and white beans for protein. Courtesy photo
Emilita Moll, one of my students at the Carlsbad Senior Garden on Pine Street, loves to assist in the garden planting and maintenance, and is our expert in utilizing garden greens and squash.
Since she was born in the Philippines, and now lives in Carlsbad, she brings to our group years of gardening experience and healthy cooking methods.
“In the Philippines we use every part of the vegetable. With the squash, I use the pulp, the seeds and even the skin.
The squash can be combined with any variety of greens in a crockpot or large stockpot, simmered in stock until the squash gets soft.
“Adding beans (either white beans, pinto or black) will add to the protein content …….