Halloween is coming and the weather seems intent on letting us know that Autumn is well and truly here. Despite the wind and rain, this is a wonderful time of year for garden produce and the Belhaven Community Garden in Dunbar has provided our shop with some glorious winter squashes. Beautiful to look at, they taste even better and are a fantastic source of Vitamin A. Come and grab one before they’re all gone.
The Belhaven Community Garden has been running since 2011 with a dedicated team of volunteers transforming the ground there from a plain green space into a wonderfully productive garden. As well as a large poly tunnel growing vegetables, there is also a sensory garden, an orchard, a nuttery, a soft fruit garden and a large wildflower meadow. There are learning opportunities for anyone interested in developing their skills in gardening, whether it’s growing fruit/veg/ornamental plants, designing new garden layouts/features or making ‘hard’ landscape features such as paths, walls, raised beds etc. The garden welcomes any individual or group who has skills to share and any time to get involved in keeping this wonderful garden in good shape.
You can find more information on the Belhaven Community Garden here: http://sustainingdunbar.org/2013/07/04/belhaven-community-garden-3/
Squash recipes (courtesy of the Belhaven Community Garden)
Squash Soup serves 6
½ medium squash - approx 500g diced into 2cm chunks
Optional 300g roughly diced carrots
1 large onion
Clove of garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 L water
Chop onion and fry on medium heat for 7 mins, add garlic and ginger and fry for 2 mins.
Half the squash, scoop out seeds, dice and add to onion with carrots. Cover and cook for 5 mins, stirring once or twice. Add water and bay leaf and bring to boil. Simmer for 15-20 mins.
Blend: add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley, coriander and chives.
Baked Squash as a side dish
Half the squash, scoop out seeds and cut into slices. The thicker the slices, the longer they take to bake.
Brush or wipe with oil and lay on a baking tray. Bake in oven at between 180-200c depending what else is in oven, for around 30 mins
Squash and Vegetable Stew
Use the diced squash with other root vegetables; vary the mix, depending on what you have, to make a hearty autumn/winter stew. The squash will cook down to help make a delicious thick sauce that will be rich orange and have a great earthy flavour.
Using the seeds
Pumpkin or squash seeds are high in protein and oil, rich in mono unsaturates and other trace minerals – zinc and selenium are particularly good for men. Remove from the pumpkin/squash and remove the pithy, stringy bits and spread out to dry. The seeds can be eaten raw or they can be roasted slowly in the oven. Pumpkin seeds can be opened more easily than squash seeds.