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Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

November 13th, 2012

Looking for a fabulous way to use the Tuffy Acorn Squash and fresh herbs from your garden this season? This mediterranean inspired recipe is sure to hit the mark. When roasted, acorn squash naturally becomes tender and subtly sweet, while the brushed on butter and brown sugar adds a warm, hearty flavor, perfect for chilly temps. While the acorn squash roasts, prepare the savory and sweet mediterranean stuffing. The fresh herbs picked directly from your garden brings this stuffing over the top, and tastes delicious hot as it does cold.

If you’re expecting vegetarian friends at your Thanksgiving this year, they will undoubtedly love this hearty main dish. This Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash also tastes wonderful when paired with a favorite soup.

Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash

(Serves 4)

2 medium acorn squash, halved and insides scooped out

2-4 tbsp melted butter

1-2 tsp brown sugar

sea salt and pepper

1 cup whole wheat couscous, or other whole grain

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tomato, chopped

1 can garbanzo beans

1/2 cup raisons

1 lemon

2 teaspoons fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, sage, cilantro, or a combination)

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Method: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and place the acorn squash on a lined baking sheet. Brush the insides with the melted butter, brown sugar, sea salt and pepper. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until tender and caramelized. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous by following the package instructions, and lightly saute the celery, garlic, tomato and a pinch of sea salt in a large skillet. Stir in the garbanzo beans, raisons, and fresh herbs, and remove from the heat when warm.

Combine the couscous with the vegetable mixture, and add the lemon juice, additional salt and pepper to taste, and a light drizzle of olive oil. When the acorn squash is roasted, brush additional melted butter and brown sugar inside the flesh (if desired). Stuff each half with the warm couscous stuffing, and serve immediately.

 

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease.  We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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Protecting Plants From Extreme Cold

November 3rd, 2012

Dealing with extremely cold weather conditions can bring additional burdens to even the savviest gardeners. While the 2012 fall season has been unusually warm in many parts of the country, El Nino leaves a big question mark as to if the trend will continue. Yet for many of us, very cold weather will strike just as it does every year. If you’re concerned that your beautiful garden may turn limp, blackened, or translucent due to cold weather conditions, this guide can help.

Preventing Plant Damage Before The Extreme Cold:

*Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers, as these just enable plants to create sappy leaf growth that tends to be more susceptible to damage. This process gets particularly bothersome early or late in the year.

*Choose plants that are relatively hardy, and can withstand harsher weather. Some of the best cold tolerant plants are: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chives, lettuce, peas, radish, Swiss chard, and spinach.

*Place tender plants against a wall, and ensure the plant is not east-facing. Moreover, do not place plants in cold pockets, as frost tends to gather in the lowest surface areas.

*Avoid pruning plants during the fall and winter months. When plants are pruned during this time, new growth often takes the brunt of the damage. This practice will help protect the central crown of the plant, and will expose mostly old growth to damage.

Protecting Plants In Extreme Cold: In extreme weather, it’s best practice to use a frost cloth or old blankets combined with Christmas lights. Many have found that the older style, incandescent Christmas lights provide the most heat.  Even a few degrees can make a big difference for your plants. When choosing a blanket, never use plastic – as this material actually increases the probability of frost damage.

For further protection, a Frost Proof insulating spray (used on non-edible plants) can also minimize damage quite effectively. The thin lay of waxy substance reduces the rate of evaporation from your plant’s leaves, which ultimately minimizes frost damage.

Protecting Plants In Snow Conditions:  While frost can do significant damage to plants, snow is different because it acts as an insulator which protects plants from extreme cold and frost. But before you start dreaming of a white Christmas, it’s important to know that snow does bring damage when the weight of a heavy layer causes leaves and branches to break. After snowy weather, remember to gently shake excess snow off the leaves and branches of your plants.

How To Identify Damaged Plants From Extreme Cold: Common symptoms of damaged plants are dead or dormant leaves, fruits and flowers, and dieback of shoots, leaves and stems.  As bad as it may look, no need to panic and immediately prune the damaged areas.  Rather, wait until spring to prune.   Warmth will continue to become trapped inside the damaged canopies and it’s best to leave them alone.  Also, pruning may stimulate new growth, which will ultimately become damaged again in the winter months.  In the spring, you should find that new growth will appear and it will become safe to prune and take out dead wood.

Looking for more ways to protect your plants this winter? Don’t forget to check our guide to: Protecting Plants From Freezing Temperatures.

*Friends, what practices do you use to protect your plants from the extreme cold? 

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