Squash – it’s a fruit, not a vegetable!
The squash belongs to the family Cucurbita, a rapidly growing plant that produces as many as 30 different edible varieties. Think zucchini, pattypan, zephyr, and yellow squash!
Squash was a staple for the Native American diet dating as far back as 8,000 years. Winter squash served not only as a food source, but also as storage containers, baking dishes, and utensils after being hollowed out and eaten.
The species Cucurbita is native to the Americas, and were planted together with corn and beans using a method called The Three Sisters. This permaculture-friendly planting technique provides many benefits to both the plants and the soil, resulting in prolific crops. The approach is also extremely water efficient as opposed to irrigating three separate crops.
All parts of a summer squash are edible, including the leaves, tendrils, shoots, stems, flowers, seeds, and fruit. The summer varieties have softer skins than winter squash, which are tender and mouthwatering when roasted or grilled. Below you’ll find recipes that celebrate summer squash in style!