Start seeds indoors a month before last frost date, or obtain young plants for direct planting in the garden. After danger of frost has past, transplant 3-4 plants in a hill of well-drained soil for good drainage. Squash plants are vines and will sprawl 6-8 feet. Harvest in the fall when skin is tough enough that it can not be pierced with your fingernail.
Squash should have a consistent color, and be quite firm, with a hard "shell." This is one of the "winter squashes," so named for it's ability to store well for a long time. It will store up to a month in a cool (not cold) dark area such as a basement or will store about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Wash the squash. Use a sharp, hefty knife to cut squash in half from stem to end and scoop out seeds. Place cut-side down in a baking dish with an inch of water; cover with foil and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Flip it over onto a plate and top with a bit of butter and salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Enjoy the "meat" of the squash.
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