Week 15: September 7, 2017

We Grow Winter Squash curing

Another Farm Season

Behold the beginning of winter squash season. If you are not already, it is time to become a fan of winter squash. It can easily be considered a superhero in the CSA share for its nutrient overdose and health food classification, but also in the field when it’s not even being consumed by humans.

Every year, we learn more about the food we grow. We have learned in the past about the way our ancestors stored winter squash and ate it in copious amounts during the cold winter months. The fiber in squash consumed in large amounts has a natural ability to cleanse our digestive system and prevent polyps. But this week, we learned that winter squash also cleanses our soil. On farms where chemicals have been used in the past, a crop of squash will take up a lengthy list of unwanted contaminants from the soil so they can be discarded. The absorption of chemicals in squash, which is four times that of other vegetables such as tomato, broccoli or beans, is another reason to make sure it is grown organically if it will be hitting your table.

This year is shaping up to be a bountiful year of winter squash at We Grow. The varieties planted this season include spaghetti, white acorn, butternut, red kuri, blue “winter sweet” kobocha, gold nugget and delicata. Each has a slightly different flavor and texture. The only one that we have a limited amount of is butternut – our favorite! For some reason the deer preferred this over the others and it did not grow well while being heavily browsed.

Nearly all winter squash benefit from time in storage. They achieve their peak sweetness some time in the winter months. The exception to this is delicata and acorn. These two are better in the first two months. The squash you are getting have been cured on our farm. They must be stored at 80ºF for about two weeks to season or harden the skins before going into 45-50º basement or cool storage. Be mindful to check your winter squash every week for blemishes turning into rot. If you catch it early, a rotting spot can easily be removed and the squash still utilized. With everything it has going for it, why would we want to waste a bite?

Ready for the new season,

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Week Fifteen Newsletter

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