Squash

Statistics

This information combined Pumpkin and Squash from 2013 to 2017, Pumpkin not included in 2018 and 2019.

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019p
Number Of Contracts 4 6 7 6 7 6 5
Tons Contracted 7,870 15,900 16,650 18,600 17,374 4,565 4,485
Tons Harvested 5,282 14,456 14,029 15,914 16,221 4,930 5,373
Gross Farm Value(.000) $579 $1,793 $1,772 $2,063 $2,064 $731 $810

* 2018/2019 - pumpkin exempt/not added into numbers

P = Preliminary

Source: Processor Information Returns

History

 It is believed that squash originated from Mexico and their native range extends from central United States all the way to Argentina. Approximately 20 wild species of squash can be found growing in these temperate and tropical regions. In some sites in Mexico, it’s estimated that squash has been around for over 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest know crops. 

Because of its hard shell it’s theorized that squash were likely used as containers and utensils before becoming an important component in indigenous diets. Winter squash was also popular for Northeastern Native America tribes because of its ability to be stored through the winter.

Nutrition & Health

Butternut squash varieties provide numerous health benefits and are packed full of nutrients. The vegetable has high levels of Vitamin A, B6, and C, folate, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and potassium. 

The list of possible benefits includes the ability to improve vision and prevent deterioration, benefit skin care, prevent certain cancers, diabetes management or prevention, strengthen your immune system, build strong bones, and benefit heart health.

Cooking Tips

  • Add to stir fries for more unique flavours and textures.
  • Roast frozen butternut squash in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Add squash with beans, tomato sauce, and spices to make a quick vegetarian chili.
  • Mash butternut squash with cinnamon, milk and salt for a sweet but savoury side dish.

Interesting Facts

  • Squash comes from the Narragansett Indigenous word "askutasquash." Which roughly translates into "eaten raw or uncooked."
  • Virtually, the entire squash plant is edible. The leaves, tendrils, shoots, stems, flowers, seeds, and fruit can be eaten and was commonly done so by early indigenous groups.
  • Squashes are commonly made into candies in Latin America.