I have nothing to share about my garden this time. I hope you like to read what I share here. Last two days I been thinking to share about squash and now I am going to share it here. I hope this article can help expand your research. I know a lot of students has science lessons and I know this article is related.

According to Wikepedia,Squashes generally refer to four species of the genus Cucurbita native to Mexico and Central America, also called marrows depending on variety or the nationality of the speaker. It is also natively grown in other parts of North America, and in Europe, India, and Australia. In North America, squash is loosely grouped into summer squash or winter squash, as well as autumn squash. Another name is cheese squash depending on whether they are harvested as immature vegetables.Summer squash or mature vegetables autumn squash or winter squash. Gourds are from the same family as squashes. Well known types of squash include the pumpkin and zucchini. Giant squash are derived from curcurbita maxima and are routinely grown to weights nearing those of giant pumpkins.

Scientific Name of Squash

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Cucurbitales

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Genus: Cucurbita

Species: C. maxima, hubbard squash, buttercup squash

C. mixta, cushaw squash
C. moschata, butternut squash
C. pepo, most pumpkins, acorn squash,
summer squash, zucchini

- Archaeological evidence suggests that squash may have been first cultivated in Mesoamerica some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago [1][2], but may have been independently cultivated elsewhere, albeit later.[3] Squash was one of the "Three Sisters" planted by Native Americans. The Three Sisters were the three main indigenous plants used for agriculture: maize (corn), beans, and squash. These were usually planted together, with the cornstalk providing support for the climbing beans, and shade for the squash. The squash vines provided ground cover to limit weeds. The beans provided nitrogen fixing for all three crops.

Summer squashes, including young vegetable marrows (such as zucchini [also known as courgette], pattypan and yellow crookneck) are harvested during the growing season, while the skin is still soft and the fruit rather small; they are eaten almost immediately and require little to no cooking.

Winter squashes (such as butternut, Hubbard, buttercup, ambercup, acorn, spaghetti squash and pumpkin) are harvested at maturity, generally the end of summer, cured to further harden the skin, and stored in a cool place for eating later. They generally require longer cooking time than summer squashes. (Note: Although the term winter squash is used here to differentiate from summer squash, it is also commonly used as a synonym for Cucurbita maxima.) The squash fruit is classified as a pepo by botanists, which is a special type of berry with a thick outer wall or rind formed from hypanthium tissue fused to the exocarp; the fleshy interior is composed of mesocarp and endocarp. The pepo, derived from an inferior ovary, is characteristic of the Squash Family (Cucurbitaceae). In culinary terms, both summer and winter squashes are generally considered as vegetables, even though pumpkin may be used for pies.

In addition to the fruit, other parts of the plant are edible. Squash seeds can be eaten directly, ground into paste, or (particularly for pumpkins) pressed for vegetable oil. The shoots, leaves, and tendrils can be eaten as greens. The blossoms are an important part of native American cooking and are also used in many other parts of the world.

There are Types of Squash

Summer squash - are thin-skinned and bruise easily (think zucchini), so look for firm, blemish-free ones with taut skin. Typically, the smaller ones are sweeter and more tender. Summer squash are moister—they contain more water—than winter squash. Summer squash are good for about a week in the refrigerator before they begin to soften and wrinkle.

Winter squash
- on the other hand, have hard, thick rinds (think acorn squash). They are so hardy that you may find yourself needing a hammer to tap the knife’s handle when trying to cut one in half. This thick skin puts longevity on their side: You can keep winter squash fresh in cool, dark places for one to three months. Winter squash are drier—they contain less moisture—than summer squash.

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