And alleluia! As my first season working on a farm comes to a close, I can say from all of us outdoor laborers: PHEW! We were so, so hot for so, so many days. Winter squash is planted during high summer, mulched with hay to keep weeds down, and then we wait…as the plants begin to die off, they leave behind their beautiful bounty. All one needs to do is walk into the field with a big clipper to cut the stems and pick them up! (Purple Crocs optional!)
Which winter squash?
You may hear the family winter squash belong to generically called the to the “gourd” family, but it also contains the summer squash like zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers, and even canteloupes and watermelon. Winter squash fall in between low and high starch veggies on the carbohydrate scale; they have about 15g per cup. Where they really shine is Vitamin A & C content (300% and 50%, respectively per cup) for only about 60 calories. They’re unique from summer squash in their storage capacity – they can be kept at room temp or cooler (but above freezing) for months; just rinse and wipe when you purchase so bacteria on the surface don’t start to eat them! Buy extra at your markets starting now through December and enjoy them through February – Potomac Vegetable Farms has lots of butternut for sale at all our markets in Arlington, Tacoma Park, Falls Church, Reston, and Leesburg! CSA customers will also get acorn, delicata, and kabocha (my personal favorite for its bright orange flesh and soft, edible skin). Here’s the feature segment from Good Morning Washington today:
The pumpkin spice granola recipe I mentioned is right here!
Diced, sliced, roasted, sauteed, pureed – these babies are versatile. They can go savory or sweet, or walk the line between both. Most have edible skin, so skip the peeling and save some fiber and vitamins while you’re at it. Acorn is the only one I’ve found that has a skin too tough to consume. Below are recipes that will allow each variety to shine: treat yourself to one of them this week! Click for link to the sources…and keep scrolling for info on my fall retreat, November 4-6 at Mountain View Farm in Purcellville, VA.
Retreat with me
I’m hosting a culinary learning retreat next month to give people a small taste of what farm life is like – fresh food, bulk prep techniques, and a focus on fermented and pickled foods are the themes of the weekend, and there will be opportunities for hiking, crafting, and just enjoying a hot drink in the fresh mountain air. We’ll get a tour of the farm and have our own farmhouse to stay in. Click for more info and registration!