Image: The Squash Tent at Jones Family Farms, Shelton, CT
The air is feels crisp in the mornings and evenings. The sun is like gold as it shines down midday. We still have some warm days but don’t be fooled… Autumn is here! Cue #fallfestivities— apple picking, apple cider, corn mazes, hayrides… and of course pumpkins and gourds galore!
If you have taken a trip to your local farm this season, you have probably stocked up on some funky looking pumpkins and gourds in preparation for spoooooky season. Colorful, bumpy, warty, funky shaped things…big ones, small ones and everywhere in the middle…
But not all these spooky decorations are just decorations. Chances are you have picked out a some edible squash, mistaken for gourds or pumpkins (and of course most pumpkins are edible too!) Even the funkiest, bumpiest, most discolored squashes can be eaten!
I have been spending this fall season working as a “Squash Expert” at Jones Family Farms. Within just a few weeks my appreciation for squash has grown immensely (to the point where I feel a little offended when I hear someone call the bumpy and warty Blue Hubbard Squash “ugly” and spend a lot of my time picking out the “cutest” and most “beautiful” squash I can find). All varieties of squash are quite magnificent in their size, shape, color and other characteristics, and they are also magnificent in the sense of what they can become in the kitchen and what they do for our bodies! I am making it my mission to try every type of squash I can come across— the funkier, the better (and I already have saved some seeds to grow my own too!)
Not Your Average Gourd
The funky friends below are not your average gourd— they are not actually gourds at all, but squash! What’s the difference? Gourds are not edible. They are great for decorating and can even be dried and used to make many things such as maracas, bowls, spoons and so much more.
Squash are different from gourds because they are edible and can be used to make anything from pickled raw squash, to pumpkin bread, soup, gratin, mac & cheese and everything in between!
You may have seen some of these squash in your local grocery store or farmers market. Maybe you have even cooked with them before or tried them in a dish at a restaurant… If this squash guide sparks some inspiration (which I hope it does!), make sure to stop at Jones Family Farms in Shelton, CT before October 31st to get your squash!
The Ultimate Guide to Edible Squash
Here are the funkiest of the funky squash…
P.S. Don’t forget to save your squash seeds and roast them to make delicious and nutritious snacks of all flavors. You can also save and dry the seeds to use in your garden next year!