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A variety of winter squash is pictured at the Miller Farms stand at the Boulder County Farmers Market. (Boulder County Farmers Markets / Courtesy Photo)
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Boulder County Farmers Markets

What’s happening

Farmers and the markets are still “growing” strong. Yes, you read that right. Just a small pun for hump day, but also true. Farmers are still working the fields and need your support finishing out the season strong. Invest your food dollars locally because a healthy food system is a local one. The Union Station Farmers Markets is open until Oct. 24. Boulder and Longmont Farmers Markets are open through Nov. 21, just in time for Thanksgiving. But it doesn’t stop there — online ordering and curbside pickup will extend the season through  Dec. 31 and potentially longer. Click through the curbside link, bcfm.org/curbside-pickup/, to learn more.

In season now

Apples, basil, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, cauliflower, garlic, green beans, kale, lettuce, mint, onions, potatoes, radicchio, spicy greens, Swiss chard, pumpkins, winter squash and spinach. You will also find honey, baked goods, eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, cheeses, ferments, preserves and mushrooms.

Lots of this, please

All the varieties of winter squash — oblong, warty, round, red, blue and fleshes of different hues.

The farmer says

Funnily, despite its name, winter squash do not fare well left on the vine once temperatures go freezing. However, they do last well once picked and stored in the proper setting. Unlike our trusty winter squash, there’s no need for you to hibernate just yet because farmers still have lots of root vegetables, fruit, greens, hothouse tomatoes on the way, and of course, squash in abundance.

Winter squash can take up more than three months to grow and mature. Farmers have been tending to them most of the season especially for you.

Here’s a rundown on some of the varieties you may see at the market:

Acorn. Resembling — you guessed it, an acorn. This dark green squash has pronounced ridges with a touch of yellow/orange edges. This is one of our favorite squashes to stuff. The medium size and perfect bowl shape lends itself well for roasted, stuffed and twice-baked.

Buttercup. If you like butternut then buttercup is sure to please. The flesh of the buttercup is deep orange and slightly less sweet.

Delicata. This is the most delicate of the winter squash varieties, and can be sliced up skin and all for a quick bake in the oven. Delicata are long in length and yellow with green stripes. These squashes do not store as long as others listed.

Spaghetti. Perhaps the most unique flesh of winter squash is that of the spaghetti. When roasted the flesh pulls from the skin in pasta-like strands. This is a perfect alternative for those cutting out pasta from their life.

Varieties may not be as in high supply this year over previous since some farms focused on CSAs and farmstands. Other varieties you may find around at local farmstands include Red Kuri, Blue Hubbard, Butternut, Stella Blue, Pink Banana, Galeux D’ Eysines, Long Island Cheese, Musque de Provence and much more. We encourage you to do some poking around. Who doesn’t like a fall walkaround on a farm? We do! Check out Munson Farms and Aspen Moon Farm for winter squash inspiration.

How to prepare

Each type of squash will be baked slightly different. The softer-skinned squashes can be peeled, cubed and roasted. Or cut in halves and seeds removed, like their thicker-skinned brother and sister squash. Then roasted facing up with a drizzle of olive oil. The length of the bake will depend on its size and density. Ask your farmer for their favorite preparations.

Goes with

Carrots, garlic, greens, onions, parsnips, pork, potatoes, turnips.

How to store it

Store your squash in a cool, dry place. Some can last eight weeks and others for three months. This is another good question for your farmer.

Markets info

Boulder Farmers Market

13th Street and Canyon Boulevard

8 a.m. to  2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 21

Preorder curbside pickup also on Wednesdays: bcfm.org/curbside-pickup/

Lafayette Farmers Market (curbside pickup only)

400 Block of East Simpson Street

3 to  6 p.m. ThursdaysPreorder curbside pickup only: bcfm.org/curbside-pickup/

Longmont Farmers Market

Boulder County Fairgrounds

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 21

Preorder curbside pickup also available on Sunday: bcfm.org/curbside-pickup/

Union Station Farmers Market

Denver’s Union Station

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 24

Preorder curbside pickup also available on Sunday: bcfm.org/curbside-pickup/

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