Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the Week: Winter Squash!
Locally-grown Winter Squash is this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the Certified Farmers’ Markets. Winter Squash differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened to a tough rind. Winter Squash is generally cooked before it is eaten. It is not grown or harvested in Winter as its name implies, but was commonly kept through the Winter in the days before refrigeration.
Varieties include: Butternut Squash – Butternut Squash is the most common Winter Squash variety. It has a peachy skin and bright orange flesh. Choose the darkest fruits. Acorn Squash – Acorn Squash is dark green with deep ridges. Its flesh a golden yellow. Pick the ones with a very dark green skin. Spaghetti Squash – as the name implies, Spaghetti Squash has a fibrous white flesh which resembles spaghetti. It can be eaten just like spaghetti with sauces and cheese. Buttercup Squash is flattened and round with flesh that is sweet, dry and dark orange. Look for a very dark green (almost bronze) fruit.
Did you know: Winter Squash is a super healthy food. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates. Winter Squash is also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese, folate, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, niacin and beta carotene. The darker the skin, the higher the beta carotene content.
Price: $ 1/lb and up.
Also in Season: Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
Palm Desert EVENING Market: NEW HOURS in Palm Desert only (4pm to 8pm). The Market is held each Wednesday at 72-559 Highway 111 (adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce).
Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market is held each Saturday morning from 8am to 12:30pm at 2300 Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market is held held each Sunday morning from 8am to 12:30pm in Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico).
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and many of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
All Certified Farmers’ Markets accept CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Markets also offer Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.