A celebration of squash at West Creek Farms in Fort Langley

Sharon checks out a bountiful squash crop growing in giant hills.

Credit: Sharon Hanna

The Turk’s Turban

The joy of squash

This fall is going to be a celebration of squash at West Creek Farms. We have them growing in giant hills, perhaps a couple of yards of soil in each. They were slow to start but as soon as the weather warmed (and General Manager Frederick Munn put a watering system into the hills!), they began to ramble all over. Above is the Turk’s Turban, photographed August 7, 2010.

This Buttercup squash loves to ramble up both sides and across the top of the wooden ‘teepee’ supports that Frederick made. One of the Gaia students wondered if it wasn’t too hard on the squash—for them to hold themselves up—and if they needed to be supported. In fact, the more they have to work at holding themselves up, the thicker their stems get, and the bigger they grow. It seems that even in the world of veggies there is a payoff for being tough and resilient.

(I have seen people put supports almost like bras underneath squash and pumpkins, but it is not necessary!)

There must be 40 or more of these hefty, gorgeous, nutrition-filled buttercup squash with deep orange interior growing from this hill, with spaghetti squash rambling all over from the other side.

Here’s a closer look at Mr. Buttercup Squash.

Not all the squash chose to ramble up and around and across Frederick’s teepee contraptions! Some tried to make a getaway along the ground.

Visit West Creek Farms in Fort Langley, BC

If you ever feel moved to come and visit and view the trial grounds, here’s how.

Drive to Fort Langley—you’ll be on Glover Road. Turn right on Mavis Avenue by the IGA. Go two blocks and veer left onto River Road. Continue until you see the government sign for the actual West Creek, then shortly after you’ll see the entrance to West Creek Farm.

If you’d like to pick up some of the “organic concoction” soil, there is plenty in the bays—also nice fir bark mulch and really well-aged mushroom compost. Bring your truck!

Frederick tends to be outside singing “E-I-E-I-O” rather than inside checking email.  Being a new gardener, he is experiencing how much energy it takes to grow food, but he is also in seventh heaven—and loves to talk about all his beautiful veggies, dahlias and other stuff.