Before heavy frost. Determine ripeness when the skin has turned color and becomes dull dry. You will be unable to create a dent when pressing your thumbnail into it. Leave two inches of the stem on the squash and manage carefully so there is no damage which can shorten storage life. Cure for 7-10 days in the sun to harden the rind and increase storage quality. Wipe any debris off skin before storing in a cool dark place with 50-55ºF temperatures and 50-65% humidity.