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EATING LOCALLY, Part 43
This ia a "TALE OF TWO VEGGIES".
Yes, this is about a very sweet Moschata variety of winter squash known as Yamiken, and about an ordinarily very sweet beet known as the Zelenolistnaja variety.
We grew both this year as we do every year where possible. OK, this year was a true test not only of gardening skill and perseverance, but of the ability of various crops to withstand the record-breaking heat wave and drought.
The Yamiken squash, seeds of which we originally acquired years ago from Missouri's very own Tom Kruzen, is a South American variety that in appearance bears a striking resemblance to the more common Butternut squash, also a Moschata. The beet is considered a table beet, although it can grow to mammoth proportions in good soil, and is usually incredibly sweet considering it is not a "sugar beet". Note the penny for size comparison in photo.
Well, this year proved something interesting. While the never-ending heat did suppress flower production in squash and thus reduced production (9 squash from 18 plants), and did slow beet growth to some extent, we harvested some of both, but the most interesting find was that the Yamikens are as sweet as ever, but the beets were much less sweet than they normally are. Perhaps this is because squash is a "hot weather crop" and beets are a "cooler weather crop". Squash likes heat (within normal range), while beets can germinate and grow at much cooler temperatures.
So the moral of this "tale of two veggies" is that extreme weather conditions can educate you about the vagaries of growing food in a changing climate.
Beware, brothers and sisters.