As part of Fairway’s new Farm to Table series with LX.TV, Mitchel London (my co-host and Fairway’s Chef de Cuisine) and I spent a couple of days with Peter Martin and Jacob Beyler at Martin Farms, in Brockport, New York. It’s about 360 miles northwest of New York City, and about a half hour drive from Rochester.
The Martins have been growing butternut squash there since the 1930s, and Peter is a third generation Martin. They farm over 500 acres of land and harvest over 10,000,000 pounds of butternut squash a year. What’s most amazing is the fact that the picking season runs from the beginning of September through the middle of October. That’s a lot of squash to harvest in a month and a half! As long as they are kept dry and in a cool place, the squash can be stored for eight or nine months. Most importantly, during picking season, only a matter of days will pass between when the squash is harvested to when it’s on our shelves at Fairway Market, and then on your own table.
To say that Mitchel and I can expertly select and pick squash from the field would be a bit of an overstatement, but Peter and Jacob gave us a crash course on what to look for (you want the neck of the squash to be long, so you’re not left with mostly the base, which contains all of the seeds) and how to pick the squash from the ground. Butternut squash grow on vines, much like pumpkins, and each one must be separated at its stem. It’s actually not that difficult, but I can only imagine what it is like doing this for hours in the field with my hands.
Fairway makes it easy for you to enjoy the farm-fresh flavor of butternut squash that is available now in stores and comes whole or pre-cut, straight from Martin Farms! Use it to make these quick, easy, and scrumptious Roasted Butternut Squash and Julienned Butternut Squash side dishes. Go to the recipes to see instructional videos that include footage from our trip to farm!
STAY TUNED! Next up for us is a visit to Murray’s Turkey Farm in Pennsylvania. We will let you know in November how that visit turned out.
TELL US: How do you like to prepare butternut squash? What are some of your favorite recipes?