The best time to harvest your cactus or succulent plants is during their peak growth period. During the summer months, it’s best if you wait until after the last day of June before harvesting your plants. If you’re growing them indoors, then they’ll probably do just fine in late May through early July. But if you want to grow them outdoors, then you need to start harvesting earlier. You may have noticed that most of the books I’ve read say that it’s better not to harvest at all during the summer months. Well, I disagree with this advice too!
I think it’s perfectly okay to harvest your plants in the summertime because there are several reasons why:
You don’t want your plant to suffer from heat stress. Heat stress is caused by high temperatures. So if you let your plants go into dormancy in the summer, then they will likely die due to heat stress. You don’t want your plants to get sunburned either!
Sunburns cause redness and pain on the skin.
It’s also good for your soil quality since you won’t have to water them as much during hot weather periods.
Cushaw Squash Recipes
One of the most fun things about growing your own cactus and succulents is to eat them! Cactus can be eaten either cooked or raw. It all depends on the type. For the most part, they have a very mild taste.
People usually add it to other things to help give it flavor. Some people add it to yogurt, omelets, and even chocolate. It’s also very popular to use as a pizza topping.
You can also use the juice from prickly pears to make candy, jellies, or jams. It can even be made into a drink or wine! As far as the flowers and stems go, they aren’t usually eaten. But some people do like to display them in vases.
The good thing is that all these parts grow year after year.
Cushaw Squash Facts
The cushaw is a type of winter squash. It has a dull green outside and bright yellow inside. The average size is usually around 3 feet long and 4 feet across, but there have been some that were more than 7 feet long and 12 feet across! The skin is hard and waxy.
They can grow in both hills and mountains, making them great for all types of terrain.
The cushaw is also called “buffalo squash” and its scientific name is Curcurbita Max. They’re part of the gourd family of plants. There are many different varieties of the cushaw, but the one you’re probably most familiar with is the one you see in your grocery store from time to time.
If you get lucky and have a larger variety, then you can cut it up into pieces and display it around your house! They make great fall decorations. I’ve seen some people hollow them out and turn them into chairs!
If you’re interested in eating your cushaw, then all you need to do is cut it open and bake or microwave it until it’s soft enough for you to eat. If you want to cook it the “old fashioned” way, then cut it in half (or quarters) and place it face down in a shallow pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
You can also freeze your cushaw after you’ve cooked it. All you need to do is cut it up into portion sizes and place it into freezer bags or containers. It can be eaten raw or cooked from the frozen state. It doesn’t usually suffer much shrinkage when frozen either.
It’s a good idea to mark what’s in the container or bag so you know how to cook it later.
Many people use the cushaw in a similar manner that you would use potatoes, especially the larger varieties. It can be prepared mashed, baked, fried, scalloped, stuffed, or even made into pancakes! I’ve listed a few recipes below to get your creative juices flowing.
Simple Cushaw Recipe
Wash your cushaw.
Poke holes in it and place it in a pot of boiling water.
Boil the cushaw for around 20 minutes or until the fork goes through very easily.
Let it cool and then peel off the skin.
Cut the cushaw into serving pieces and enjoy!
More Complex Cushaw Recipe
Wash and peel your cushaw.
Cut it into bite size pieces and place it in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
Dip the cushaw pieces into the bowl with the milk mixture.
Put some oil in a pan and heat it up to around 325 degrees.
Fry the cushaw pieces until they are golden brown.
Drain the pieces and serve.
Cushaw Casserole Recipe
Wash the cushaw.
Cut the ends off and then cut the cushaw in half.
Cut one of those halves in half again lengthwise. You should now have 2 long halves and 2 short halves.
Put all the pieces in a casserole dish.
Mix 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper in a bowl.
Sprinkle the salt and pepper mixture over the top of the cushaw pieces.
Pour 1/2 cup of melted butter over the top of the cushaw.
Cover it with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake it uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes more.
Let it cool and then enjoy!
Cushaw and Bacon Recipe
Wash your cushaw. Peel off the skin. Cut the cushaw into bite-sized pieces.
Fry 3 strips of bacon until it starts to get really brown and crispy.
Drain the fat away and add the cushaw pieces.
Fry them in the bacon grease until they are soft or at your desired consistency.
Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper to taste.
Serve as a side dish.
Cushaw Dessert Recipe
Wash your cushaw. Peel it and cut it into small chunks.
Put the pieces into a pot and add 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar.
Stir well so that the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
Cover it and turn off the heat. Let the cushaw sit in the covered pot for about 15 minutes more.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
There are many other recipes that can be found online or in various cookbooks. When you’re done with your cushaw, be sure to save the seeds because they can be dried and stored for the next growing season!