The summer crops are winding down while the low tunnels for the fall plantings go up, hopefully before the first frost. The  produce survived drought, worms, and rabbits and many tomatoes, green beans, and peppers have been harvested and distributed to the various soup kitchens around Madison County. We nurtured hundreds of seedlings that have now been planted under the low tunnels and hopefully will yield throughout the fall and into the winter.

Beans and more beans       Transplanted Seedlings

Putting up the low tunnels


The Migrant Head Start kids picked the last of their tomatoes, beans, squash, and peppers in mid-September.  Their enthusiasm was contagious to the volunteers who helped them learn about gardening and the fun of growing their own food. Every harvest was greeted by smiles, applause, and the children jumping up and down in joy.  The Salvation Army raised beds are still producing beans and tomatoes, but that may end with the predicted upcoming freeze.

The ECOS volunteers have exchanged recipes and prepared traditional dishes with our vegetables.  Although our squash supply was drastically depleted by deer, there was some to cook and to distribute to the soup kitchens. The following delicious recipe was found in the October edition of Madison County’s horticulture newsletter Pay Dirt:


Ingredients: 2 cups cooked and mashed cushaw squash, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. lemon extract, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 9 inch graham cracker crust pie shell.


To prepare cushaw:  Wash and remove rind from the squash.  Cut flesh into 1 inch squares, steam until they are tender, drain and mash.

To prepare pie:  Preheat oven to 400 F. In large bowl mix together the cushaw, butter, and sugars.  Add eggs, lemon and vanilla extracts, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix until smooth and pour mixture into pie shell.  Bake 15 minutes at 400, then reduce oven temperature to 35o and bake 45 additional minutes until filling sets.

Yield:  8 slices

Nutritional values:  250 calories, 13 g fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein

Yummm!! Hope you all are enjoying the fruits of your labor!