During a long term SHTF survival situation, its going to be important for people to grow their own food. One type of seed that survivalist should stockpile are seeds for squash and zucchini.
Ok, why you grow squash and zucchini? They are easy to grow, bug resistant, packed full of nutrients, can be jarred for long term storage, some types can be stored for a couple of months of kept in a cool dry place, summer squash and zucchini can be eaten raw.
Its estimated that various types of squash have been cultivated by mankind for 8,000 – 10,000 years. Think about that for a minute, squash has been with mankind for thousands of years, why change now? Follow in the foot steps of those that came before you. Use available resources to achieve a desired goal. Our desired goal is to survive a long term teotwawki situation.
One of the advantages of the squash family, most of them can be eaten raw. This saves you have having to fire up the stove, boil water, worry about the smoke from your fire.
In a time when the cost of fuel is at a premium, not having to build a fire to cook with, or use propane to cook with is going to save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.
A couple of reasons why you may want to cook your squash is to kill bacteria, and to make it more palatable. Some people may not like the crispy outside of the squash.
Imagine this, some kind of plague has wiped out 75% of mankind, the food shipments stopped arriving at your local grocery stores, you bug out to your bug out location and plant a garden. Everything is going well, until one morning you check the garden and the plants have been eaten by deer. Your crops have been destroyed over night.
Squash and zucchini are resistant to deer. I think, and keep that in mind, this is just my opinion, the squash and zucchini plants have tiny hairs on the leaves and the stems. I am going to guess that the deer do not like the hairs on the leaves. Maybe deer just do not like the taste of squash, I don’t know.
Plant your peas and beans in with the squash and zucchini. As the two plants grow together, the squash and zucchini will help keep the deer away from the tender bean and pea sprouts.
Native Americans used to plant corn, squash and beans all together in a system called “The Three Sisters”.
Squash and zucchini are loaded with nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Straight Neck and Crook Neck Squash
It boils down to personal preference. Some people like straight neck, some people like crook neck squash. Personally, I like straight neck better.
The skin on crook neck squash seems a little thicker then straight neck squash. While eating squash, I prefer the thinner skin of the straight neck as opposed to the crook neck.
I do not know if straight neck and crook neck will cross pollinate. I imagine they would, but if they do, will the seeds be hybrid?
Cross pollination is something to think about if you want to save the seeds. If you plan on raising your food during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, then saving the seeds should be a top priority. With saving your seeds in mind, you may not want to plant different types of squash next to each other, due to cross pollination.
A lot of people prefer crook neck to straight neck squash, some people say they do not notice a difference. It seems to come down to personal preference.
Summer and Winter Squash
One of the main differences between summer and winter squash is how long the squash can be stored.
Summer squash – can be stored for a few weeks if kept in a cool dry place.
Winter squash – can be stored for several weeks, sometimes a couple of months when kept in a cool dry place.
In other words, winter squash is meant to be harvested in late fall and stored during the winter.
From my personal observations, zucchini seems to be a little more drought resistant then yellow summer squash.
A few years ago I planted some yellow squash and zucchini side by side. When there was no rain for a couple of weeks, the yellow squash wilted before the zucchini did. My observations were not a scientific experiment, and should ne be considered fact. All I know is the rows were about 6 feet apart, the plants received the same exact amount of rainfall, or rather the lack of rainfall, and the squash wilted before the zucchini did.
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