Be on the lookout for squash at Farm Market

Winter squash/pumpkin, as well as beans and corn, were introduced to the European “settlers” (aka “immigrants”) by the Native Americans. It is in season now, given the unusually early harvests in central Ohio, and packs a nutritional punch.

Just one cup of cooked winter squash (think about the wide variety of acorn, butternut and buttercup, delicata, pumpkin, hubbard, and spaghetti) provides all your daily requirements of vitamin A and a good dose of vitamin C and potassium, and only 82 calories.

Winter squash may be baked, steamed, grilled or roasted, instead of the boiled (and bland) vegetable of our childhoods. Many squash have quite firm skins and are difficult to cut or peel; Andrea Chessman (Serving Up The Harvest) notes, without a bit of obvious humor, that for opening some squash, the best thing may be to “drop it on a concrete floor or paved driveway.” She follows this suggestion with the more manageable option of placing the whole squash in the microwave for two minutes cooked on high (thus softening the squash enough to cut through and halve).

The spaghetti squash is quite popular. Nutritionally, it makes sense to substitute a nutritional vegetable for white flour based pasta. To prepare a spaghetti squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds and some of the fibrous membrane. At this point, it may be boiled or microwaved (open side up, covered, and cooked on high until fork tender), but my favorite is baking, which enhances the sweet flavor and contributes a caramelized quality.

To bake, place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet, and cook in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 to 90 minutes (depending on size of squash). Bake until very tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, turn squash over, and use fork to scrape squash out of shell (resembling “spaghetti” noodles) into bowl. Serve with any favorite sauce typically served over pasta.

Squash may be difficult for home gardeners to grow, because of its spreading habit and the space limits of many home gardens. Be on the look out for this versatile vegetable at the Fayette County Farm Market.

The market is open every Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon and is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets in Washington C.H. SNAP EBT food benefit cards, Senior Farm Market coupons and credit/debit cards are accepted—stop by the FM “Info and Children’s Booth” (beside the Sunshine Cleaners) for assistance. Those using the SNAP EBT card for produce receive matching dollar VeggieSNAP tokens ($1 for $1) for additional fruits and vegetables. So,”buy one, get one” for fruit and vegetables, up to $10 EVERY market day.

The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up for the Saturday Market. Other vendors may participate as well.

Keypoint Farm (Nevin Stauffer & family): Seasonal produce.

Persinger Produce & Cottage Food (David Persinger and Julie Mosny): Pies, cinni mini’s, cinnamon rolls.

This and That (Mary Ford): Garden and home crafts (summer goose dresses, coasters, mug rugs, aprons, OSU items, jewelry), baked goods (apple butter bread, PB fudge).

Wood by DW (Debbie Welch): Wood primitives and sewn kitchen crafts.

Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don and Sara Creamer): Artisan breads, bran muffin tops.

B.Y.E Gardens (Brian and Elaine Yoder): Tomatoes, candy onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut, acorn and spaghetti squashes, possibly corn and green beans, sunflowers, cinnamon rolls, strawberry bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, lemon cookies, peanut butter cookies, homegrown popcorn.

By Thy Hand (Mark and Lori Chrisman): Angel food cakes, pies, assorted breads, snickerdoodles, seasoning and dip mixes, recycled pallet crates and boxes.

Engedi (Beth Day, Alana Walters, Janet Bick): Assorted home baked goods (cinnamon rolls, bread, yeast rolls, cookies, pies, brownies, cobblers, whoopie pies,small specialty bread), Icees, and a children’s activity.

Forgotten Way Farms (Cathy Ludi): DoTERRA essential oils, homemade soap, laundry detergent concentrate, bath salts and bombs, balms, wooded decor, and homemade organic vanilla extract, horseradish.

Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush) Back for fall planting: perennial flowers and herbs. Produce including fresh garlic, Matt’s Wild cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, small pie pumpkins and white “pumpkin” gourds. Fresh dried herbs (sage, basil), Herbal teas (sacred basil, lemon verbena). Baklava (walnut and honey pastry), and “Better than Good” buckeyes.

Jones Farm Fresh Produce (Jon & Taylor Jones): Green beans, red potatoes, tomatoes (slicing and cherry), peppers (bell, habanero), jalapeño sausage links, sweet Italian sausage links and sausage patties.

Katrina Bush is a vendor with the Fayette County Farm Market.

By Katrina Bush

For the Record-Herald