Here I am starting some acorn squash in the greenhouse. I’m planting these acorns for the Nourish Your Roots Box program. This program will see students from local schools fundraise by selling boxes of local, sustainably-grown produce (rather than the typical fundraisers of chocolate bars and tulip bulbs).
These local food boxes will be ready in time for Thanksgiving but the students will be working hard to sell these boxes far before then, just as the farmers will be working hard growing the produce far before then.
The farmers will sell the produce that goes into the boxes at a wholesale price. The students will sell the boxes of produce at a retail price. The difference will go to each student’s school. The money the students raise will go towards (and only towards) food and nutrition initiatives in their own schools. Pretty awesome!
Me and Bryan at Broadfork Farm are growing the squash for the box and some of our other farming friends are growing the other vegetables (delicious Thanksgiving-y things like carrots, potatoes, kohlrabi, etc.).
The idea behind the Nourish Your Roots Boxes comes from an organization called Nourish NS, an organization that supports nourishment and food literacy programs in schools.
I’ve decided to grow 2 varieties of acorn squash for the boxes. One has a green skin (like regular acorn squashes) and is called Table King; the other one has a cream-coloured skin with greenish stripes called Jester.
I start them all in the greenhouse in trays with 50 cells, one cell for each seed. They grow quickly in the warm, protected environment in the greenhouse which allows me to start them earlier than I could if I planted them directly in the soil. Squash can’t tolerate cold conditions and we’ve still been getting cold days and lots of cold nights.
In our area, we can plant these squash out into the field at the end of May. So, we’ll give you an update when that happens….so that all the students selling these Nourish Your Roots boxes and all the community members who will be buying them can keep up to date with how their acorn squash is growing!