So much gratitude to our farm community for their favorite heirloom winter squash suggestions allowing us to grow unique varieties here at the farm.
What are your some of your favorite squashes? Let’s grow them!
Last week Hubbard squash took the spotlight in your CSA boxes and up on the blog. You can check out the article here —> Link here
This week, we are going all out to share the rest of our other heirloom squash varieties. Thanks to our restaurant partners, chefs, and market customers for suggesting these specialty heirloom varieties for us to grow, some of them are new on the farm this year, and others we’ve been growing right from the start! What kinds of squash have you tried that you’d like us to grow?!
THE HEIRLOOM STORY
Now…imagine a squash seed. It’s contents containing a richness in agricultural history waiting to be unlocked by its planting. When its time to fruit, or in this case squash, all of its best qualities including flavor, texture, and hardiness emerge to produce the next generation of squash seeds waiting to be selected and unlocked again as it gets planted.
It’s ability to grow from seed and produce more seeds to pass on its genes for generations to come is exactly what makes it an heirloom variety. Some heirloom varieties are thousands of years old. Unlike commercial growers who generally prioritize long distance transportability, faster ripening, and uniformity, we pride ourselves in selecting some amazing heirloom squash varieties, delicious in flavor and texture!
In this post, we're sharing with you our unique selection of heirloom squash we have growing here on the farm:
With a rich, deep green skin and a beautiful golden orange flesh, Kabocha squash is prized for its sweet and savory taste similar to that of a sweet potato. Slow simmered in a soup or stew, the subtle flavors of Kabocha will add complexity and beautiful vibrance to any dish. Loaded with the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, zinc, iron, and an excellent source of fiber, this hearty squash is well known to boost the immune system and help you beat those colds during the winter months.
gets its name from its beautiful skin. Cream colored with thin green stripes on the outside, its thin skin makes it easy to slice and fuss-free to prepare. Roasted in wedges on a sheet pan with a little seasoning is our favorite way to prepare this squash. Similar to spaghetti squash’s morphable tendencies, Delicata easily adapts to and draws in the flavors of whatever dish you’re making.
We were inspired to grow this special squash after it was highly recommended by the chef at one of our restaurant partners,
Manresa, in downtown Los Gatos, and WOW the patterns on the Kakai squash will stop you in your tracks to admire its beauty. Unlike our other squashes, this one is more subtle in flavor with a deliciously stringy texture. It’s bright, green gem-like seeds are highly prized and delicious when
toasted and used as an attractive edible garnish to top desserts like cheesecake or squash pie!
is a teardrop-shaped winter squash with a distinctive orange skin. In fact, the word "kuri" is Japanese for chestnut, and yes, a sweetly nutty flavor, reminiscent of chestnuts, is exactly what this squash tastes like! The red kuri squash we have growing here has a bold flavor, thin skin, and incredible smooth texture. The majority of kuri squashes grown here in California are exported to meet the high market demand in Japan, which is probably why you haven’t seen them here at your local grocery store despite their popularity amongst California farmers. Cooked with the skin in a soup or a curry will keep you savoring the tastes of fall.
Scraping out thin ribbons of spaghetti like strings from the flesh of this squash is deeply satisfying! Simply bake the squash whole or halved, remove the seeds, then scrape the inside with a fork to create the perfect low-carb substitute for any pasta dish. With its palate cleansing properties, even the simplest ingredients of lemon, herbs, and butter make for a mouth-watering dining experience. Here at the farm we let this squash ripen right on the vine, allowing it’s deep yellow color to develop a boldness in flavor as its soaks up the late summer sun.
With a tough skin, acorn squash can be tricky to cut, but well-worth the extra effort in flavor! Use a sharp, sturdy knife to cut acorn squash along one of the valleys in between the ridges on the skin. Making this first cut will take a little extra strength and force than most squash. Re-position your knife and use that initial cut as your entry point for slicing all the way through. Acorn squash keeps well for at least one month, adding a nice bit of fall decor to your kitchen counter.
With its very own built-in ripeness indicator, we get excited to see these bright green squashes turn to a beautiful dusty bronze right on the vine showcasing its peak done-ness in flavor and nutrition. With a flavor that’s sweet, and intensely “squash-y” we are so delighted to offer this delicious heirloom squash variety from Row 7 Seed Co. This specific heirloom seed emerged out of research at Cornell University, and each Robin’s Koginut seed sold supports public plant breeding research to preserve the agricultural practice of seed saving and sustainable plant breeding.