When Carol Deppe wrote The Resilient Gardener she really got me thinking about what I wanted to plant in the garden to truly provide real food for the longest period of time. Her formula consisted of duck eggs, beans, corn, potatoes and squash. This would provide her protein and carbohydrates and lots of calories over a long period of time. Beans, corn, potatoes and squash all being foods that store well months if not longer.
Her squash of choice was a sweet meat, the Oregon Homestead squash, a large, rich tasting winter squash which, I believe, she developed. She claims that this squash will keep until the following summer if stored properly. I have no reason not to believe her. Following her storage recommendation (against the living room wall) our sweet meat squash are still delicious. We may not last till summer as there are only two left.
The first year I tried to grow this squash I ran an experiment that didn’t work well and only ended up with one squash. I replanted those seeds, also gave many away, and this past season ended up with about a dozen sweet meats. This actually seems like an adequate amount for us but am going to try and increase the number of squash produced. Expect if we had more we would eat more.
This really is a terrific squash. And, as Carol Deppe points out, one squash produces a serious amount of food with flesh that can be three inches or more thick and a small seed ball producing a copious amount of fat, white, nutritious seeds.
We prepare it in a straight forward manner, steaming it and eating it with a bit of butter. It has a wonderful creamy texture and we don’t seem to tire of it.
Extending the gardening and eating season is the next challenge. Growing veggies using the Carol Deppe formula works for us and food stacks up in the pantry for eating during the winter. It’s fun to be able to put a meal on the table in March that consists primarily of garden food. Last night: Oregon Homestead squash, steamed nettles/kale combo, shallots and cabbage in a stir fry. We could last a long time on squash, beans and cornmeal with a few potatoes thrown into the mix. And this winter we had volunteer arugula for the entire season along with some corn lettuce for salads.
If the mineralization that I’ve been blogging about works as advertised, the resilient gardener’s diet should help us survive many winters to come in good health.