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The joy of decay…

Winter squash decays

During the growing season, decay is the last thing you want to see, let alone watch. This time of year, what with culling veggies from cool storage, I’m a little more thoughtful about…decomposition. This miniature butternut caught my eye as it slowly returns to its essence in the Milkhouse. I’ve watched it instead of tossing it out. I like it! It’s soft, but seems to be drying faster than it’s rotting… Those little amber crystals, the product of ooze, are interesting: hard, transparent, sort of brittle, almost tasteless… I wonder what they are? I’m sure chemistry and biology would give me great, detailed explanations of the entire process of winter squash decay. But is that…good? Is that what I want? I used to think that understanding how EVERYTHING worked was kinda the goal, you’d learn and learn and learn stuff and become…better. But tiny farming doesn’t seem to lead that way. You watch and you do learn lots of things when they’re useful, but simply tearing everything apart into little chunks of measurement and description, just for the sake of it, isn’t as appealing as it once seemed to be. I think I want to know LESS. Demand simplicity! Let the squash rot in peace… (Of course, things don’t really work that way, do they…)

Winter squash decays: another view



  1. Robin

    I think I see the Virgin Mary. You could sell this on e-Bay and have more than enough money for next year’s seeds!

    It is cool, isn’t it!

  2. Ooooh that’s cool. My chickens eat the squash I cull.

  3. WiIling Hands Organic Farm

    picture #1 is beautiful, a piece of hand glazed pottery! you would be hard pressed to create it

  4. Melanie J.

    I had to glance the comments just to see if anyone else saw a face…so Robin made me chuckle. But seriously, on the first shot, I see a grumpy old man! ‘Course, been sick the last 3 days, so it could be a hallucination…

  5. fourteenmilecreek

    Sitting by the woodstove watching it snow outside, just put another log on the fire; passin’ time reading about a squash as it decays, this is the life!
    After two days of Christmas Inlaws, the pressure tank on the well going haywire, the float on the toilet getting stuck, the aircompressor blowing breakers in the house, the dishwasher float sticking and the resulting after dinner floods, I need a little decomposing squash.

  6. fourteenmilecreek: I’m always happy to share! :)

  7. annamb

    Is it possible that the answer to prolonging life is in squash – any answers, as I’d love some!  Is it as simple as thick, waxy, skin?

  8. Curious Photo Student

    I’m making a composition book for my photo class and would like permission to use your pictures. Is there also a way I can get a name so I can credit you pictures?

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