Ghost Squash Steal The Show At Our Wren’s Nest Farm

Hobby farm advocate Jess Nestor from Our Wren's Nest Farm tells us how White Scallop squash adds seasonal fun to her Ohio-based venture.

by Phillip Mlynar
PHOTO: Our Wren's Nest Farm

“Having a hobby farm is truly a blessing,” says Jess Nestor, who runs the Our Wren’s Nest Farm in Ohio with her family. Having always found herself drawn to a “simple way of living and everything old school,” Nestor was able to fulfill her self-sustainable dreams after “a chance meeting with someone who is now our very dear friend and the best farming mentor.”

That person wound up helping the Nestors the chance to secure their own land. “Now we could grow a garden on a larger scale, raise our own chickens, build a small cabin and truly live out our hobby farming dreams,” says Nestor. “So we jumped in with both feet, even quitting my day job for a new career that allowed me to farm full time!”

Taking a break from tending to the hobby farm, Nestor spoke to us about the benefits of totally revamping the garden and the annoyance of cucumber beetles. We also got the scoop on ghost squash.

Go Ahead & Revamp the Garden


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“This year we made a goal to completely revamp how we garden,” says Nestor when asked about how this year’s produce haul turned out. “[We] spent most of the winter researching and planning. In the spring we built completely new grow beds, added irrigation and only planted plants we knew we would eat—no experimenting.”

Nestor adds that embracing the square foot gardening method also allowed them to “grow produce more efficiently in an area that is easy to manage.”

Pesky Cucumber Beetles

Nestor calls this year’s garden “the best we have ever grown” and is thrilled by how “the produce keeps piling up!” But unfortunately the cucumbers did not go quite according to plan.

“We experienced cucumber beetles for the first time!” says Nestor. “We now know how to deal with them and, even though they didn’t work out, we gained a ton of knowledge for next year!”

Introducing Ghost Squash!

If you enjoy the Our Wren’s Nest Farm Instagram account, you’ll come across a little something tagged ghost squash.

But what exactly are ghost squash?

“I am a huge fan of everything summer and winter squash, one of my favorite foods, and I grow a good amount of it every year,” explains Nestor. “From zucchini to spaghetti squash, it is all so good! I like to have different types of squash, and the White Scallop squash added a fun touch to the garden.”

It turns out that the distinctive White Scallop plants are quite prolific. “I think if I was going to use it in a Halloween recipe, I would carefully carve out some eyes and a mouth at the top and then steam the squash,” says Nestor, getting into early Halloween mode. “You would definitely get a spooky, fun addition to your meal that way.”

Dealing with Potatoes

Having dallied with attempting to grow potatoes for a number of years, Nestor reveals that they finally came good this time around.

“Oh, potatoes! What a learning experience those have been,” she says. “I feel like every farmer has that one plant that tests them every year, and potatoes have been that for us. This year, though, was the first year we had a sizable harvest. Even though it wasn’t as much as we wanted, we learned so much!”

When it comes to potato-growing tips, Nestor says to always make sure you have enough space, use a good quality seed and be patient. “Don’t pull the plants too early—which I’ve been guilty of in the past!”

Accomplishments & Rewards

When it comes to the benefits of running a hobby farm, Nestor points to “the feeling of accomplishment and the rewards of your hard work.”

“You raised those chickens and ducks, and know where the eggs are coming from,” she continues. “A pantry full of canned goods is a feast to the eyes and the stomach that are free of preservatives. It is just such a sense of pride for us. The best feeling is just sitting back with my husband, watching the flock roam the yard and seeing how far we have come.”

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