I have tried to grow butternut squash before because I love the vegetable. It’s hardy. It stores well. It’s sweet. In the past I have ordered seeds from catalogues, tossed out the most fragile looking ones, broadcast and watered obsessively and come up with nothing but a trailing and barren vine. Now I don’t try anymore because I know that every once in a while my compost pile that sits in the garden with no water will provide. This is one of those years. In the past month I think I have probably plucked close to 30 hefty, curvy, healthy specimens (and given away 15). For me, the surprise harvest is sometimes the most exciting.