Producer Spotlight: The Squash Queen

Sep 10, 2021 | Producer Spotlights

Squash picking with the Squash Queen and the next generation!

Shannon Vanlenthe and her son Tristan took us out into the garden to see what’s coming out next.

Meet Tristan!

Tristan is moving into a lead role in the gardening part of their business, and this year was responsible for planning, planting and harvesting most of the garden for The Squash Queen.

A tough year for growers

Shannon tells us it’s been a difficult year for farmers in the area.  Minimal rain has meant that Tristan has also been learning about drip irrigation to keep their amazing variety of summer and winter squash producing their beautiful fruits.

Summer Meets Winter

At this time of year, before the first frost but late enough in the season, both summer and winter squash are being harvested.  Tristan was selecting tiny, perfect pattypan squashes like these.

Try cooking these up as a side dish using Al’s Calabacitas recipe!

Stripes in fall fashion

Summer squashes like this yellow zucchini will be available until the first frost!

Cinderella's got nothing on us

The Squash Queen was one of the first in our area to start growing heirloom varieties like the Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkin.  This fire-orange, classic-shaped pumpkin has a beautiful firm flesh that’s great for roasting, pies and dishes like gnocchi!

Butternut beauty

Butternut squashes are one of the best-known and best-loved of the winter squashes, in part because their solid upper body makes them easy to cut up!  Chef John used a butternut in his September 2021 Gnocchi recipe.  Watch the video to see how he cuts the squash, and find his written gnocchi recipe here.

Learn more

Learn more about the Squash Queen in our directory!