Seedlings germinating inside a squash
Garden of Eatin', Vegetables

Sprouting Squash… From Inside a Squash

I’m a gourd hoarder. At the end of the summer, my kitchen is always full of summer squash and winter squash in different stages of maturity. I’ll store a couple on the counter, an armful in the pantry, some more in our laundry room… wherever I have an extra shelf for the various pattypans, butternuts, zucchini and pumpkins I’ve been growing all season.

Inevitably, a few will be forgotten… and this is what I discovered last week when I noticed an unusually wrinkly squash on the topmost shelf in my kitchen.

It reminds me of an awful movie called “The Ruins,” (seriously, don’t watch it) where predatory vines start growing from inside the main characters’ bodies. Except these are seedlings, having just pushed their way through the flesh of a cucurbit… a bit gruesome, if you think about it.

Summer squash with sprouted seedlings

It seems the right combination of warmth, humidity, and a slowly rotting squash created the perfect environment for the seeds to germinate. I can only imagine the nutrient-rich compost that’s been brewing for at least a month or two, as the squash started to decompose from the inside out.

Sadly, squash seedlings won’t survive a coastal winter in these parts, so I had to toss the whole thing in the compost heap… which means I will probably end up with a hundred seedlings in the spring.

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