Frost on the Pumpkin

Well, the summer squash actually, because that’s all we plant in Maine.

cousa squash plant hit by frost

cousa squash plant hit by frost

The winter squash is – or more accurately was – down in the much larger Hudson Valley vegetable garden. Bill got it all harvested before frost descended, reminding me yet again that the (once) well-known poem, The Frost is On the Punkin, by James Whitcomb Riley,  makes absolutely NO sense unless “squash” means “squash vines.” If you let frost land on the fruits themselves, rot will spread from the frosted part and the squash won’t keep. Click here for more about winter squash, including recipe tips,  here to read the poem, relic of another time in many ways yet not without its virtues. The second stanza gives you the flavor:

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
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