Monday, October 26, 2009

Squash Appreciation Day

Now is the season to enjoy winter squash, planted in the spring, grown in the summer, harvested in the fall. The table at the Free Farm Stand was heaped high with winter squashes (and some of the last summer zucchini), some grown at 18th and Rhode Island garden and some grown by my friend Tom in Santa Rosa. We should sing an ode to winter squash because they are so wonderful!

We should strive to be like winter squash
they are a humble vegetable
like the lowly pumpkin squash magically transformed into
a high class carriage to take Cinderella to the ball
they are rock steady and patient
as they grow sometimes to large proportions
they are one of the three sisters
whose righteousness comforts and nourishes us
they feed us their fleshy insides and also their blossoms and seeds
they can be who they want to be and choose to be different
in sizes and shapes and colors
though their sexual expression is dependent on our friends the bees
the luffa squash scratch our itchy backs like good friends do
the gourd can play sweet music and is a multi-talented artist
Winter Squashes, Pumpkin, Hubbard, Delicata, Sweet Dumpling, Golden Nugget, Buttercup, Kobacha, and Turban
we love you all and think you de vine

Besides the squash we had more apples from the gleaning trip two weeks ago and others brought fruit too. Christina got some grapefruit from San Jose, Pam came by with apples, and so did Lauren who also had local figs, and lemons came from some local anonymous harvester. It just goes to show that one can keep their eyes open and find fruit growing everywhere that potentially could be harvested. Someone told me they saw pomegranates growing on Dolores St. near 20th St. that I would like to check out. Towards the end Clara came by with a lovely basket of vegetables from the Secret Garden, including some delicious figs that were finally ripe. When we were almost out of apples, someone came by with organic apples from Whole Foods, all with their organic label on each apple. They disappeared pretty quickly. Also, Danny showed up with a baguette and a loaf of sour dough he baked (he is the guy from Sour Flour who is into baking bread and giving it away). I talked to him about making a whole grain loaf and he is working on it. We also had stacks of super ripe organic dry farmed tomatoes left over from the farmer's market. A lot were given away but many were to damaged and too hard for people to take home. I haven't come up with a way for people to process soft tomatoes like that…they would make delicious sauce, but then it would be needed to can the sauce once it was made. That would take jars and equipment and then how do you distribute it and get your expensive jars back?

There was a lot happening in the park including a Healthy Family Days event that we were actually a part of. The organizer of that event served free healthy food in the clubhouse that we invited everyone to go to. They were serving among other things a vegan squash soup made by the Sexy Soup Lady and everyone said it was very tasty. I also hosted two bicycle tours to the stand. The Homo Homestead tour was fantastic and I enjoyed meeting them all. Joolie who organized it brought us a big bag of greens and herbs that she had grown in her nearby garden. The Garden City tour that is part of a workshop on how to get land in the city to grow a garden in came by while we were closing up shop. I spoke to them about the history of the park and garden and the current work we are doing feeding those with compromised budgets and promoting food growing.
Below are photos from 18th and Rhode Island on Friday, mostly pictures of some of the harvest. I forgot to mention that we had our largest harvest yet of potatoes, 9 pounds that we gave away on Sunday. They were mostly small in size, but looked great.

This coming Saturday the 31st, even though it is Halloween, I am planning on having a garden work day cleaning up and planting my backyard garden that has been pretty much neglected for a while. That will be from 10am-2:30pm with lunch being served around noon. We will be weeding, pruning, bottling honey if we have time, and planting. Then on the following Saturday Nov. 7th we will be extracting honey.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

I took a few large sections. I'll be roasting the seeds. Truly a welcomed Autumn food!