Posted By Jonathan on September 3, 2012
The Amazing Hokkaido Blue Squash
Of all the plants that we grew this year, I think my favorite has been the Hokkaido Blue Squash. In fact, growing this delicious squash has solidified in my mind, my favorite type of vegetable to grow – winter squash (of any variety).
There is something magical about a winter squash. It looks funny and not very edible at first glance, but beneath its rough exterior is amazing deliciousness, all preserved of its own accord. If grown, harvested, and stored correctly, a winter squash can stay good all through 8 months after its taken from its dried up vines. That is an amazing fact, considering it doesn’t take much effort at all to “grow, harvest and store correctly”.
Our winter squash variety of 2012 was Hokkaido Blue Squash, and I recommend it to everyone. Our plants died back in late July, unfortunately, due to pests/disease, but we managed to get 4 good squash from them. We now have a couple more plants growing, with hopes of getting a few more squash before our first frost.
The plant itself is amazingly vigorous. Below is a picture of one we planted not even a month ago! It will twist and vine its way over everything it can. We train ours up the garden fence we have put up to keep out pests. Water once every two weeks with some fertilizer if you’d like, and it will double in size. Other than that, pick off any squash beetles, and let it go. It is very easy to grow.
Once you have squash forming, it will take about a month to a month and a half from the first time you see it getting bigger, to the time when you can harvest it. They are rather large squash, so it takes time for it to grow. When the vine starts to dry up, cut the squash off, leaving 3-4 inches of dried stem left on the squash. This will let the squash retain its inner moisture, allowing it to store for much longer.
We let ours sit on our kitchen counters for just over a month, before we decided to preserve them (along with the rest of our sugar pumpkins). The process is the exact same for these squash as for sugar pumpkins.
1. Wash the exterior and remove the stem.
2. Cut in half and scoop out the insides. (The insides of Hokkaido are much cleaner than a sugar pumpkin. Almost no stringy material.)
3. Bake, covered in tin foil with the squash’s cut side down, for 1 hour 30 minutes at 350F.
4. Let cool for 10 minutes.
5. Scrape out the cooked meat and enjoy/preserve however you like.
If you are like me, you will find roasted Hokkaido Blue Squash extremely irresistible. In my opinion, the taste is much better than even sugar pumpkin. I almost get the feeling it actually grew with brown sugar…you don’t even need to add any, its that sweet. The texture is also a lots smoother than sugar pumpkin.
I kinda wish I hadn’t baked all of our squash up today, and find myself hoping we’ll get some from our plants that are growing right now. During the middle of winter, when all is barren and cold outside, it would be an amazing experience to roast these squash, and have the smell permeate our home on a chilly, blustery afternoon.
If you have grown this amazing winter squash, I’d love to hear from you.