Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Favorite Garden Vegetables, Part 3 - Butterstick Summer Squash

You'll have a bountiful harvest of delicious yellow squash if you grow just a few plants of my favorite variety -- Butterstick. A zucchini-like squash, Butterstick is a good variety to grow if you like yellow summer squash. They are handsome, prolific and delicious.

We are probably all a bit tired of the dark green zucchini squash that is hard to give away to your neighbors. You won't have that problem with Butterstick, because you'll want to keep it for yourself. Let's take a close look at Butterstick summer squash to see how it might earn your regard as one of the favorite vegetables in your garden.

Here are the reasons that Butterstick summer squash is one of my favorites:

It grows easily and eagerly. Like other squash varieties, Butterstick is easy to germinate and grows quickly. You'll find the plant is sporting blossoms just after it has a few mature leaves on it and measures only a foot across. In another week, it comes out quickly with nice yellow fruit.

You get an abundant crop. Butterstick provides a bounty of squash, more than zucchini. It isn't uncommon to have 6 or more fruits forming at the same time.

Butterstick fruit is similar in shape to a zucchini. Long and slender when young, and more chubby in appearance as it gets a bit older. It is good for slicing across to create "rounds", or slicing lengthwise to serve as "sticks". Let it get larger and cut in half lengthwise to use as a "boat" for you favorite ground meat stuffing.

Delicious flavor. You'll find that Butterstick has a nice mild, yet rich flavor. It goes very well with cheese and creamy sauces. The first year we grew Butterstick, we ate it two meals a day during the growing season, and never tired of it. A regular green zucchini is bland by comparison.

Dries and freezes well. If you can't have it fresh, then you can dry or freeze it, and you'll still enjoy it's delicious flavor.

Grow it to any size you want. Like any of the zucchini type squash, when about 6 inches in length, they are a gourmet treat. Our experience shows that Butterstick has small seeds even when the fruit is allowed to grow to a larger size. Seeds become an issue at 14 inches or more, but the flesh remains delicious and tender even if you allow the fruit to grow to the size of your forearm.

Handsome and modest size bush. Butterstick grows on a handsome bush that sports deeply serrated and mottled leaves. The plant remains a modest size, so two can be easily grown in a 3 by 6 foot garden space.

So, there you have it. A beautiful modest sized plant that is easy to grow and produces an abundance of delicious fruit that serves up well anytime you wish to harvest. Extra fruit can be frozen or dried to bring back the delicious memories of summer in the middle of the winter. If you only grew Butterstick summer squash, you wouldn't want for any others.

Clair Schwan is an experienced vegetable gardener with open sun and greenhouse garden beds. He grows over 100 varieties of vegetables just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming to keep himself and his family fed year round. His gardening practices include cultivating cold hardy varieties throughout the winter using adequate protection from the harsh elements. See his gardening adventures, quality homemade greenhouses and vegetable gardening tips at http://www.frugal-living-freedom.com

See Also : staub 9.5 inch saute pan


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