The word of the day is……

Squash!  No – make that Beans!  No – make that…..  Oh, fiddlesticks!  Too many choices!

This is just one of the best garden times!

First, a short tutorial about squashes.  Do you know the difference between a summer squash and a winter squash?  Both grow during the summer – squashes, including pumpkins, need warm weather to grow.  Summer squashes, like zucchini and scallops, are picked as immature fruits and have a soft skin.  They won’t last very long, a week or two with refrigeration, so you need to plan to use them pretty quickly.   Winter squash, on the other hand, are allowed to mature on the vine and they develop a tough outer skin that protects them for long storage – weeks or even months, at room temperatures, in fact.  They also have a firm flesh that makes them perfect for the basis of a main dish or pie.  It’s no surprise then, that it became traditional in the days before refrigeration was common to plant winter squash a little later in the summer and harvest them as a fall crop.  A good store of squash and pumpkins could keep a family happily nourished through a long winter.

I like my traditions as well as the next gal, but the fact is, I like the winter squashes too well to leave them off the plate for that long.  So this week, we’ll have several favorites:  Spaghetti squash, Butternut, Buttercup and a few Sweet Dumplin’s .  I’ll bring recipes with me to market, but I hope you’ll share some of yours with me, as well.  There are SO many great ways to use a squash!

Tatume Squash
Tatume Squash

We’ll also have the summer favorites:  Gold Zucchini, Gold and White Scallop and our newest heirloom: Tatume.  This one became the star ingredient in my gluten-free zucchini bread today.  Last night, it starred in a squash casserole with chicken and a creamy parmesan sauce.  I’m really loving Tatume and I expect it will be in our garden for years to come.

This month is also the best time to look for green beans at the market.  Most produce vendors will have them for sale and the price will never be lower or the beans fresher.  Now is the time to buy extra to put in the freezer.  It’s easy to do and hard to beat having that fresh flavor later in the year.  We’ll have the heirloom Contender green beans on hand, but also our special gourmet bean this year:  Dragon Tongue Langerie.  A colorful addition to salads when added raw, or have them steamed, snapped and cooked with new potatoes and onions, or tossed in a stir-fry for a unique buttery taste and crisp texture.

We’ll have a few Golden Acre and Red Express cabbages, fresh young turnips/greens, beets, multi-color carrots, and Purple Viking and Yukon Gold potatoes along with our gourmet mix including French, LaRatte, Rose Finn and Purple Peruvian fingerlings.   Of course, you couldn’t fix all that without some Texas Sweet and Red onions and green garlic.

The greens are still doing well and we’ll pick some new Buttercrunch lettuce heads along with some summer mixed greens.  We’ll bring Dragon’s Egg, Delikatesse and Lemon Cucumbers for your salad, too.   The Dutch and Russian Kale and Rainbow Chard are beautiful.  And always, naturally grown and chemical-free.

Thanks so much for coming out to support the market!    You make it all worth while!

See you there!