Saturday, August 9, 2014

Spaghetti squash recipes & planting

A store-bought spaghetti squash contained a bunch of sprouted seeds.
How long had it been sitting there in the store?
I was craving a spaghetti squash, so we bought one. The rind seemed unusually hard and quite a number of the seeds had sprouted. I try not to waste squash seeds of any kind, so if I'm not saving them for growing, I prepare them for eating. In this case I planted some of the sprouted seeds, dried 20 or so for future planting, and the rest I fixed for snacking.

Squash seed recipe

This seed recipe works for any of the winter squashes: including butternut, acorn, pumpkin, & spaghetti.
- Scoop out the seedy squash center and separate out the seeds.
- Place the cleaned seeds in a pan with 1/2 inch of heavily-salted water.(You could also use seasoned salt or maybe add some rosemary leaves for a different flavor.)
- Cook over medium heat until most of the water boils away—about 10 minutes.
- Dump the contents of the pan onto a cookie sheet and spread the seeds out.
- Dry in a 200-degree oven for 15 minutes or out in the sun for several hours.
- Ready to eat: eat them by themselves or mix with other seeds & nuts in a trail mix.

Easy microwave spaghetti squash

- Turn cleaned squash halves, split side down in a flat dish with 1/2 inch of water. (I use a 9"x12" glass dish so I can fit both halves in one dish. I stop the turntable from rotating for this dish.)
- Nuke for 10 minutes at full power.
- Take the pan from the microwave, turn the halves cut side up and test the squash with a fork to make sure that it's soft.
- Prop up the halves into the corners of the dish so they are level and pour spaghetti sauce into the seed cavities (I used half a 24-oz jar of store-bought sauce for both halves.)
- Top with freshly ground pepper, oregano & parsley flakes and then grated Pamesan cheese.
- There should still be some water in the bottom of the dish. Nuke for 5 minutes.
- Serve whole in a bowl. Eat right from the rind or turn it out into the bowl.
A delicious, filling, and gluten-free meal.
Prepared squash it ready to turn out of its shell. The meat of the squash is stringy and fills the role of pasta.

Sprouted seeds

The beginning of August is a little early for planting the fall squash crops, but with sprouted seeds, I couldn't really wait. My long bed opposite from the garage was turned and mulched 6 weeks ago, so it was ready. I planted several of the sprouted seeds on one side of the squash swale and some summer squash seeds on the other side. The spaghetti squash seedlings are in a row above my name in this triangular-shaped swale as shown in the photo below right. The summer squash is to the left. The vines are likely to grow out from the area so this section of lawn will host the runners and we'll mow around them until they are done.
The sprouted squash perked right up when planted.
For more details on how I prepare the squash mounds see my post, From compost to dinners
My squash swale is at the far end of the outer bed. In addition to the spaghetti squash, I also planted some summer squash.

Ooh my rainbow carrots!

Rainbow carrots

I grow a lot of carrots from fall, through the winter, and into spring. We've enjoyed the cosmic purple  carrots over the last couple of years, but this time, I decided to branch out with more colors. I'm not sure if I have any purple carrots seeds left over, but I do have some orange carrot seeds so I'll have a more complete rainbow.

This seed pack includes deep purple carrot, yellow carrot, white Kutiger carrot, and nutri-red carrot seeds.

It's not quite time to plant these, but
I am looking forward to my
Only the worms can see it.




Integrated pest management

It's a wasp eat caterpillar world out on our front porch step. This is why landscape-wide poisons are not used in our sustainably-managed property. You want Mother Nature to send out the troops when there are too many caterpillars in the area.
A potter's wasp found a caterpillar. It ate part of it, but then they disappeared. The wasp probably flew it to the nest, laid eggs on it and sealed it up.

Trouble in paradise

For 3 years we tried physical removal methods to knock back this invasive fern from our front pond.
See what we did to get rid of this invasive floating fern from our front pond in my post over on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog, "Managing a native pond." Finally, we have a clear pond again.

More than a hundred crows gathered in the trees around our yard the other day. They all hung around for quite a while having a noisy ongoing conversation, and then, they all flew off. We've seen large groups of crows before, but not very often.

Summer's winding down, I can hardly wait to start planting more crops in my edible gardens again. What about you—are you ready for cool-weather edibles? In our book, "Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida," there are 3 monthly calendars—one for each section of the state. Order your copy today.

Special Summer Appearance:
My presentation is "Organic GardeningYou can do it!"
Aug. 12th 10am at Fleming Island Library in Clay County.
1895 Town Center Blvd, Orange Park, FL 32003
(about 7.5 miles south of I295 & Rt 17 exit)
This event
is open to the public and has been coordinated
by The Garden Club of Fleming Island.

Green Gardening Matters, 
Ginny Stibolt

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