Autumn is an amazing time for seasonal stars, and the real showstopper is the delicious squash. Our organic squash come in a whole rainbow of fantastic colours and subtly different flavours. In this blog, we’ll take you on a whistle-stop tour of different farms to check in on their squash, along with some superb recipe inspiration, so you can really sink your teeth into what’s in season throughout the year.
Autumn squash sensations
Eating with the seasons is the best way to enjoy all of nature's bounty. Seasonal eating is also a fantastic way to cut down on unnecessary food miles from far-flung shores. By eating crops that are grown closer to home, we’re able to reduce our carbon footprint, enjoy food in a more sustainable way, and truly connect with the soil.
EBM Helme Farm
Jeremy Helme and his family have been farming for nearly 50 years, and grow the wonderful pattypan squash on their mixed organic farm. Located on the Welsh border, Pool Hullock farm is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful veggie delights. On Pool Hullock, the long-term fertility of the soil is protected by organic farming methods that allow worms and insects to flourish.
Pattypan is a small squash shaped just like a flying saucer! It has scalloped edges and can be yellow, white or green. The name ‘pattypan’ derives from ‘a pan for baking a patty’, and it’s also known by a host of other names, including the delightful ‘Peter Pan squash’. This squash is a fantastic source of magnesium and vitamins A and C.
The pattypan squash are harvested young and they’re so tender that you can eat the whole thing – no need to peel! Jeremy’s favourite way to eat pattypan squash is to roast it in the oven with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and black pepper.
Bedlam Farms Organic
Clive Martin’s organic farm in Cambridgeshire is the home of many different varieties of organic squash. Clive works without the use of artificial chemicals and farms in harmony with the natural world. On his Fenland farm, you can find gorgeous globe-like spaghetti squash, the blaze squash – a stripy relative of the traditional pumpkin – and the Crown Prince squash, a long-storage veggie with steel-blue skin and a deep orange centre.
The spaghetti squash season is brief in the UK, so you’ll want to snap these yellow delights up quickly. They’re perfect for roasting, so try them with tender pillows of gnocchi and sheep’s cheese for a delightfully hearty and filling evening meal.
In Salisbury, Kensons Farm has been certified organic since 2001. Run by Liz and Hugh Collins, they fertilise all of their vegetables naturally with red clover and rye grass, plants that make abundant organic manure to feed the soil.
The Collins’ are experts at growing the glorious gem squash, known for its dark green skin and perfectly spherical shape. Its orange flesh has an even sweeter flavour than butternut squash, and is ideal for roasting and soups. Why not branch out and try it in place of butternut in our roast squash and rosemary soup recipe?
James Foskett Farms
Just inland from the Suffolk coastline, James Foskett’s farm boasts a stunning selection of seasonal organic veg, including that beloved classic – butternut squash. James encourages wildlife throughout his farm in keeping with organic farming principles, and you can spot kingfishers, barn owls and water voles among his crops.
Butternut squash is a vine-growing winter variety that has a sweet, nutty taste not too dissimilar to that of a pumpkin. Its yellow skin can be tough to cut through when raw, but it’s totally worth it to get to the delicious orange flesh inside.
Incredibly versatile, butternut squash is made for soups, stews and chillis, and works well roasted and sautéed. It’s one of the most widely used and best-known squash on our fair shores, thanks to its sweet flesh. Try James Foskett’s organic butternut squash in our chunky squash and lentil chilli - the perfect cold-weather dish to warm you right down to your toes.
Support local organic farmers and eat with the seasons this autumn by enjoying as many of these beautifully varied squash as you can. Find out what seasonal stars we have in store here.