This week there were 12 vendors with tables full of produce and bakery. It’s hard to believe that we are in our last month of market. Be sure to visit the Toledo Farmers’ Market this month and make your fall purchases. Some of the items available are pumpkins, potatoes, summer squash, leeks, herbs, popcorn, watermelons, onions, tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and winter squash.
There is nothing better than winter squash in the middle of winter. There is plenty to be purchased at market. You can store the squash for quite awhile before it needs to be used.
Winter squash thrives in cool weather and can be kept for up to a month in a cool area such as cellar steps or unheated porches.This is good, but sometimes you forget the squash and it gets to cold or it starts to dry out and shrivel up. You can freeze the squash, just cook it first, then puree, mash or chunk it and seal in airtight freezer bags. Cooked and frozen winter squash will last for up to a year.
Another option is to can the winter squash. To fill 7 quarts, which is a full canner, it takes about 16 pounds of squash. To fill 9 pints you will need 10 pounds of squash. If you choose to can squash make sure the squash has a hard rind and a stringless mature pulp.
Remember to read your pressure canner instructions before beginning. If this is your first time canning it is recommended that you contact your local extension office for information on canning safely.
You can also do the same with pumpkins. Some pumpkins are called pie pumpkins and some are called carving pumpkins. Pie pumpkins have a sweeter flesh. The flesh is also less stringy, which makes a nice textured pie.
Don’t forget the last day of the Toledo Farmers’ Market is October 28th.
See you there.