Zucchini and Summer Squash 2011 Garden Picks

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Gardening

Stop laughing….I never have enough Zucchini!

Yellow Straight Neck Squash and Gray Zucchini

Stop laughing….I never have enough Zucchini!

When it comes to summer squash , C. pepo, I am a giggling fool. A versatile vegetable, I lay awake at night dreaming up new ways to use these heavily producing gems. So easy to grow, summer squash will keep your bushel baskets brimming.

Send the kids to pick squash, while you harvest lettuce and tomatoes.

Most summer squash take between 50 and 55 days to mature. We often do a second planting to accommodate our insatiable desire to have more zucchini! Giggles

My picks for this year are Cocozella di Napoli, Yellow Straight Neck Squash, Cymling aka Patty Pan or Patisson and Black Beauty.

For Sauces

Cocozella di Napoli was a first timer in our 2010 garden. I am happy to have the Italian heirloom return. This bush type plant sets on the most beautiful green squash, and the flesh has a fine firm texture. Holds up when grilled, or added to your favorite Italian tomato sauce. Beautiful foliage, would make Cocozella di Napoli a focal point in large herb gardens.

Fresh for Grill, Freezes well too!

Grandma always grew Yellow Crookneck Squash. I prefer the Yellow Straightneck, mostly because they are easier to peel and process. I freeze these in unpeeled yellow circles. They are a pop of color for stir frys and make a good soup. Fresh from the garden, sliced and thrown on the grill with a little butter and herbs, this is our summer squash delight!

A Nod to Southern Tradition

Patty Pan Squash Yellow and Green

A Louisiana favorite, you may call them by their French name Patisson. We call them Patty PansEdna Lewis called them Cymlings; maybe Grandma did too. I thought she was saying “Crinoline” because Patty Pan Squash Cymlings have scalloped ruffles. A southern favorite, I have never grown these. They come in white, green and yellow. Baker Creek Seed is offering “Patisson Strie Melange” which has an assortment of colors, stripes, and bumps. These are good fried, and in the early fall a reliable baker, before the winter squash come in. Pretty in early fall displays.

Teresa O’Connor over at Seasonal Wisdom wrote an informative review about these scallops.

For Zucchini Bread Freeze….and works well for Squash Pickles

Black Beauty, the standby in my garden. This is my choice for shredding. Moist texture is great addition to zucchini breads and cakes. These freeze well, and I measure the shreds in 2 and 3 cup units, which fits well into my favorite recipes. Freeze circles of these with yellow squash for an eye candy party of saunteed goodness. Good for pickles and end of the season relish.

I don’t have room to grow all the squash I want. If you are a Farmers Market Producer, you might consider Gray Zucchini as a alternative to Black Beauty. The gray variety seemed to be a favorite at the Lexington Farmers Market.

Winter Hat

Friends Drift Inn Recipe Ideas for Summer Squash

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe with Orange Zest

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe with Orange Zest
Patty Pan Squash Fries Recipe
Summer Squash and Egg Noodle Plate
Ginger Zucchini Soup with Preserved Lemon Garnish
Yellow Squash with Lemon Marmalade Recipe

More 2011 Heirloom Gardening Picks
3 Pumpkins for Your Garden Long Season Growing
Tomato Picks 2011 Part I
Pick a Peck of Peppers

Gardening The Patty Pan Squash Cymling

About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.