Vegetables and Fruits from A to Z A Storage and Handling Guide

Acorn Squash (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Acorn squash is a mildly sweet squash with orange flesh and green-black skin. It has heavy ribbing and is acorn- shaped. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C, folate and potassium.

To store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. They get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Substitutions: Winter squash can be used in any recipe that calls for pumpkin! It can also be used interchangeably with other winter squash.

To use: Slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place face down on cookie sheet. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove from shells, and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, seasoning or fillings. You can also boil squash or steam it.

To freeze: Simply cook squash and mash or puree it. Then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop the frozen cubes into freezer Ziplock bags.


There are many varieties of basil. We grow Basil Genovese, the traditional green variety, as well as a purple leaf basil.

To store: Basil is very sensitive to cold. Do not refrigerate fresh basil; it will turn black. To keep just harvested basil fresh, strip the lower leaves off the stems and place stems in a glass of water on the kitchen counter. Wrap the stripped leaves (or all your basil if your fresh
basil arrives w/o adequate stems) in a dry paper towel and keep in an airtight container at about 50 degrees or room temperature.

To use: Try chopping it and adding to butter, cream cheese, or your favorite pasta sauce. Make a batch of pesto or simply puree extra basil with a bit of olive oil and freeze it in ice cube trays. It pairs well with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans and summer squash. Because it is so fragile, it is best to add basil near the end of a dish’s cooking time.

To dehydrate: Remove leaves from stem and place on a piece of paper towel on a glass plate. Cover with another piece of paper towel. Microwave plate on high for 1 minute. Leaves will be dry. Crinkle them with your finger and place them in a dry container, such as a Mason jar with a lid.