I’ve been harvesting squash all summer. I like to cut it into thick slices, coat with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper, toss with herbs, and then grill it. I’ve also sauteed it, steamed it, and put it into stews. I’ve diced and frozen some for soup this winter. I check the plants almost every day, and yet, somehow, there’s always one squash that hides until it get ridiculously humungous.
The squash on the right is the tastiest size. The big one on the left is about two feet long. Sure, I could cut it in half, scoop it out, make a filling and bake it, but, honestly, who wants to bother with all of that work in this heat? So, on the way into the house with my basket of vegetables from the garden, that big lunk of a zucchini got tossed into the chicken run. Without the hens, I’d have brought that squash into the kitchen, where it would have sat on the counter for a day, challenging my cooking skills and making me feel like a slacker of a cook. Then, it’d be hidden away in the refrigerator, where it would take up valuable space, go soft and eventually get thrown out. But, because I have a flock of chickens I don’t have to go through all of that. Instead, I get the immediate gratification of seeing the hens eat it. As they peck away, they cluck their thanks and make me feel like the best gardener, ever.
Some things in the garden are too beautiful pick. I’m leaving these sunflowers for the wild birds to harvest.