Spaghetti squash is amazing stuff. It seems to do well in our difficult zone 2, low-rainfall garden, without additional irrigation. A few plants yield more squashes than we eat in a year; last year, we got something like 20 squashes off 3 plants. This year, nothing did very well, due to being planted late, flattened by a major storm, and barely weeded (if at all) through the summer; however, we still got a few squashes off the sole surviving plant.
The other thing that impresses me about spaghetti squash is it’s staying power. We just, and I mean just tonight, disposed of the last of last year’s squash. Squash we harvested approximately 13 months ago, and left sitting in a spare room through the winter and the heat of summer, with no special attention whatsoever. In fact, I guarantee they were not in ideal conditions for any part of that storage, really – too humid for part of the time, and too warm for the rest. We threw the last two in the chicken coop; one had soft spots, and the other had seeds sprouting inside, plus was going soft. Mostly, we had been keeping them around just to see how long they would last, at this point. However, we cooked and ate one about a week and a half ago, and it was fine.
Spaghetti squash is easy to cook; just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake it, cut side down, for an hour and a half to two hours (for a large-ish squash) until the flesh is soft. Then, you can use it like spaghetti – the flesh pulls apart in spaghetti-like strings, hence the name. Another option is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, stuff it with something tasty (we usually use leftover spaghetti sauce, cut about half and half with cooked rice), and bake it cut side up for about the same amount of time.
I have to say, I highly recommend this one for Canadian Prairie gardens; easy to grow + tasty + long storage life = a winner in my books!