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This is our Doomsday Winter Squash page. It gives instructions on how many winter squash plants are needed to feed one person for a year.
Winter squash has about 80 calories per cup. Based on a 1200 calorie diet, it would take about 15 cups of winter squash per day.
One plant can produce about 10 to 15 fruits. But one fruit will fill about two cups so one plant per day should be enough to provide for a 1200 calorie diet.
You would need about 200 plants a year for food and seed production.
Winter squash can be dried for later eating. But winter squash can keep for months at room temperature.
Left unpeeled, whole winter squash can keep at room temperature for at least 3 months and some can keep up to 6 months. However, sometimes spots of mold occur that soften the outer layer and ultimately spoil the squash.
To prevent mold spots, you may want to consider oil buffing them. To oil buff winter squashes, first wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt. Dry them completely (it is important that the surface of the squash be completely dry to prevent mold).
Put a small amount of vegetable oil on a paper or clean cloth towel. Rub the oil all over the surface of the squash, buffing off any excess oil. The squash should be just barely shiny and not greasy to the touch.
Unlike summer squash, winter squash will need to be left on the vine until it matures. Picking it early will not improve the taste any.
Winter squash can be canned as well but it is not needed.
In the case of winter squash, you can harvest all the fruits at once. But you may want to space the harvest out so the fruits will last for a longer period of time.
You will want to have drying and canning equipment on hand.
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