With 40 degree overnight temperatures at the farm this week, autumn is certainly in the air! The crops still doing just fine, though, and we’re glad for a break from last week’s sweltering temps. We’re seeing the first of the winter squash coming out of the fields to cure; similar to garlic or onions, most winter squash needs to go through a curing process before it is ready to eat. This involves keeping the squash in a warm, dry place for a time after harvest, which thickens the skin for storage, and enhances the flavor of the squash. This chart from Johnny’s Seeds is a great resource for learning more about winter squash curing and storage.
With these lower temperatures, and a fridge brimming with produce, I’m starting to feel like we’ve made it to soup season- the time of year when I start throwing all my veggies into a big soup pot with different combinations of herbs, and hope for the best.
You will notice a winter squash in your bag for most of the remaining weeks. We have a lot of different varieties on the farm, and we’ll try to get you at least one of each so you can try out some different recipes and find your favorite. There is more to winter squash than butternut and acorn, and we want you to enjoy them all! Some of the other varieties you’ll see are:
Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin): Similar to sweet potato in flavor andtexture. Can be eaten directly out of the field but get sweeter with a few weeks of storage.
Spaghetti Squash: Can be eaten without curing and is a classic pasta alternative with noodle like consistency when stripped out of the cooked squash with a fork.
Delicata Squash: Another variety that is sweet eaten directly out of the field without any curing needed. Delicata has the most delicate skin, which turns soft and edible once fried or baked.
Carnival Squash: A hybrid of a sweet dumpling and acorn squash, this skin of this colorful squash tells the story of its climate: hotter weather promotes more green tones and less orange/yellow.
Baby Red Hubbards: Great for pies and purees, skin and all. Delicious right out of the field, no curing needed.
Pie Pumpkins: Great for baking, mashing and pies. Doesn’t store as well as other winter squash.
Buttercup squash: Closely resembling the kabocha squash, but with a milder flavor that is ready to be spiced up with other veggies and seasonings.
Here are some winter squash recipes to get you started: