Cucurbits, or the gourd family of plants, are warm-loving tender annuals that include some of the earliest cultivated foods. They include melons, squashes, and cucumbers.
Cucurbits we grow:
We grow slicing, pickling, and lemon cucumbers. All are great for fresh eating and making pickles.
Storage Tips: Cucumbers should be stored at room temperature – not in the refrigerator. Cucumbers are sensitive to temperatures below 50°F and may develop “chilling injuries” including water-soaked areas, pitting, and accelerated decay. If you must refrigerate your cucumbers, limit it to 1-3 days and eat them as soon as possible.
We grow several varieties of melons including watermelons, muskmelons (cantaloupes), and honeydew melons. Our favorite new discovery this year was Canary melons, a white fleshed type with bright yellow skin.
Storage Tips: Despite their hardy appearance, melons are quite perishable. Keep ripe melons away from other fruit so that the ethylene gas that they produce does not speed up the fruit’s ripening. Uncut ripe melons should keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. When storing a halved melon, leave the seeds in to help keep it fresh. Once you’ve cut into a melon, wrap the remainder in plastic and it should keep in the fridge for about 3 days.
We grow both pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins for making jack-o-lanterns. We love pumpkins. And we love pumpkin pie.
Though you can eat most pumpkins, pie pumpkins have drier flesh, thus require less time roasting down, are generally more flavorful.
Storage Tips: Pumpkins can normally be stored for 30 – 90 days. Allow the pumpkin to dry completely and store in a cool, dry and dark place. Avoid hot and humid places, even if storing for only a couple of weeks. Pumpkins are best stored on a board or piece of cardboard. Do not store the fruit on a cement floor, as they tend to rot.
We grow several varieties of summer squash including zucchini, yellow straightneck, pattypan, and Mediterranean zucchini. They are a staple of summer eating and can be sauteed, stuffed, and grilled all summer long.
Storage Tips: Place Summer Squash in a plastic storage bag before refrigerating. Do not wash Summer Squash before refrigeration because exposure to water will encourage your Summer Squash to spoil. Summer Squash will remain fresh for up to 5 days when properly stored.
We grow many varieties of winter squash including butternuts, kabochas, acorns, delicata, spaghetti, and pumpkins. Our favorites are the Japanese heirloom variety Black Futsu and the locally adapted Oregon Homestead Sweet Meat.
We eat winter squash all fall and winter with pasta, as pies, and roasted simply in its skin.
Storage Tips: For long-term storage, find a cool but not cold spot in your home with good air circulation. Clean and sanitize your squashes before storage, and keep them from touching. Check them often, and immediately remove any that start to look soft or subpar.