Relatives: Cucumber, melon, pumpkin
Summer squash can be found in many colors and varieties, but most common are the green Zucchini and yellow Crookneck. As summer squash thrives in hot and sunny climates, Houston provides an excellent growing ground for squash. And if you’re going to grow it, you should eat it too. Steamed, boiled, pureed, baked, fried, grilled, sautéd and raw...summer squash is great anyway you cook it.
Currently, students participating in the 21st Century Community Learning Center program are learning just exactly how tasty squash can be. This week, students at Bonham and Whittier Elementary School used pizza box solar ovens to make mini squash pizzas. When the students first saw the Crookneck squash, some knew what it was and others looked at it strangely and said, “What’s that yellow thing?”
As Urban Harvest garden educators explained what summer squash is and let the students prepare their individual pizzas, the students began to catch on to this funny looking yellow vegetable. When it was time to eat their creations, their eyes lit up. A series of exclamations could be heard:
“Mmmmmmm. This is good.”
“Whoa! I never knew you could eat this!”
“I like this! Can I have another piece?”
Another generation is learning how to appreciate local and fresh flavors. Better yet, they are bringing what they learn home with them.
The squash family may be one of the most extensive plant families. Each of the four seasons highlights a different squash. In anticipation for the fall, Urban Harvest youth garden educators are planting winter squash (storage squash) tropical Seminole pumpkin seeds. As seeds sprout, the squashes are fruiting well, and our school gardens are experiencing the benefits.
Summer Squash Mini Pizza
4 slices of squash
4 slices of tomato
4 pieces of a green leaf
(for example: kale, swiss chard, basil, arugula, your favorite green leaf. The kids at Bonham really enjoyed kale.)
1 piece of whole wheat bread, quartered
Assemble the vegetables on the bread as you would like. Bake it in the oven on 350०F for 10 minutes, or you can use a solar oven and bake it for 45 minutes.
Of course, you can always eat it raw. For instructions on making a pizza box solar oven, you can refer to this site: http://www.hometrainingtools.com/
— Sarah Puffers
Urban Harvest ExxonMobil CSJP