November 27, 2014
James, a neighbor from down the road, and I visited over coffee last Tuesday at the Cougar Den. I watched a young man walk in, his Resistol worn and dirty, the Carhartt wore in but not tattered, and his boot and jeans muddy below the knee. I wondered if he had been feeding or at the stockyard when James brought me out of my trance saying he had been putting up squash before he left the house. Belinda and I haven’t thought about squash for two weeks. During the first hard frosts, we put up as much squash as we had time for. But when a cold snap froze the remaining garden squash to the core (photo), we figured we turn it into good roughage for the cattle and goats. So, when James said he was still putting up squash, he had my attention.
Sure enough, his squash had frozen same as ours during those eight-degree mornings. However, instead of figuring it all was going for cattle and goat feed, he gathered what he thought he had time put up and stuffed it into the haystack—to insulate and keep frozen. Ever since, when he has the time, he canned and froze squash.
I believe James’ work needs attention. James raises a good size garden each year with the intent of providing a fair portion of the family’s food come summer, fall, winter, and a bit of the spring. When ones work is producing food for family consumption, conserving that food is important. Who cares the squash froze? Considering the work that went into raising squash, it makes sense to conserve it well. Continue reading