Thinking about vegetables (and baby butternut squash musings)

One of the new staff members at the English library where I volunteer here in the winter in Quebec is a keen (relatively new) vegetable gardener.  A young mom, in Rimouski since 2012, coming here as a post-doc in microbiology, I think, she has a community garden plot near where we sometimes start skiing (in the winter) or biking (in the summer) along the Sentier le Littoral.

I don’t know that community garden, so I’m glad to learn about it and will look forward to seeing it next summer.  She reports that there are about 40 small community garden plots there (with a waiting list) and they have a nice community feel.  Lovely.

She described some pests that I’d never heard of — a leek moth that attacks garlic, for example.  In my experience, I’ve never had any trouble with garlic.  But, there are a LOT more leeks in the markets here than back in North Carolina, so that may be the explanation. She described what sounded like cutworms taking out sugar snap pea and spinach seedlings, too.

I’m going to share some of my baby Honeynut Squash seeds with her — she starts seeds in April and hopefully, she’ll share a couple of the transplants with me when I return to Quebec in late May. 

We’re not here in spring, of course, to start transplants, and even though I can bring seeds across the border from the U.S. to Canada (not vice versa), transplants in potting mix, well, I’m quite sure that wouldn’t happen.

What I mentioned to her is how delicious immature baby butternut squash are, in addition to their delightfully small size.

a green baby honeynut squash (YUM!)

I started growing them as they were great on trellises and resistant to squash vine borers.  Dan Barber, who encouraged their development via a Cornell vegetable breeder, was looking for taste and small size.  They have both.

But basically they’re delicious as a young green squash, much better than Tromboncino squash, which is also resistant.  They have a delightful mild butternut squash flavor as a young squash.