Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

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Summer Squash

It's not too late to plant summer squash in your outdoor classroom. According to OSU's fall gardening fact sheet, you can plant summer squash seeds through September 1 for harvest in 40-50 days. To find out what else you can plant now, check out the fact sheet.

Squash is usually divided into two categories - summer and winter. Summer squashes are harvested and eaten while their skin is still tender. Winter squash grows a thick skin, which helps it keep longer. The most common summer squashes are constricted neck, zucchini and scallop, or patty pan. Patty pan is round and flattened like a plate with scalloped edges. It is usually white. Constricted neck squash is thinner at the stem end than the blossom end and is classified as either "crookneck" or "straightneck." It is usually yellow. Zucchini squash is cylindrical- to club-shaped and is usually green.

Squashes originated in the Americas. European settlers of the New World were introduced to the numerous squash varieties by natives. Archaeologists have traced their origins to Mexico, dating back from 7,000 to 5,500 BC, when they were an integral part of the ancient diet along with maize and beans.

The colonists of New England adopted the name "squash," a word derived from several Native American words for the vegetable which meant "green thing eaten green." Eventually summer squash made its way to the warm Mediterranean regions of Europe where it thrived and was renamed zucchini by the Italians and courgette by the French. Both names mean "small squash," which implies that they were eaten at their small, young stage.

Cucurbit lessons, background, vocabulary and additional resources

Smart Board activities: Scroll down to "Pumpkins, Squash and Other Cucurbits."

Facts about Summer Squash

Summer Squash (1/2 cup, cooked)

amounts per serving
% daily value
calories
20
calories from fat
5
total fat
0g
0%
sodium
0g
0%
total carbohydrate
4g
1%
dietary fiber
1g
4%
sugars
2g
protein
1g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
8%
calcium
2%
iron
2%

Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

squash

Writing Prompt

You have an abundance of zucchini in your family garden. Design a marketing campaign to sell it to your neighbors or classmates.

August Page

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

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Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.