In Season


Cooking demos:

9 a.m. Saturday: Chef Nick Melvin of Doux South on the art of preserving. Morningside Farmers Market, Atlanta.

10 a.m. Saturday: Chef Dave Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing Westside. Peachtree Road Farmers Market, Atlanta.

Chef demos are held at many farmers markets. Check your local market’s Facebook page or website for information.


Just arriving: collards, muscadines, mustard greens, peanuts, pumpkins

Vegetables and fruit: apples, arugula, Asian greens, beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, field peas, figs, garlic, ginger, ground cherries, herbs, kale, lamb’s quarters, lettuce, Malabar spinach, melons, mushrooms, okra, onions, pears, peppers, potatoes, radishes, roselle, shallots, sorrel, spaghetti squash, spinach, summer squash, sweet potato greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnip greens, winter squash

From local reports

R. J. Kessler of Planted Rock Farm in Chattahoochee Hills grows a variety of winter squash. Butternut, kabocha, delicata and pumpkins are all in the fields. There are also 200 row feet of Honey Bear, a particularly small variety of acorn squash with fruits that weigh about a pound each and grow to about 4 inches around. That 200 feet of acorn squash translates to about 70 plants which will each bear three to five fruit.

Kessler planted when all danger of frost had passed and began harvesting his acorn squash in early September. But unlike the kabocha squash he grows and brings to market right after harvest, acorn squash, and butternut, too, benefit from a rest period when the sugars in the squash can fully develop. He stores the squash in an air conditioned room and keeps them until about mid-October when he judges them at the peak of flavor.

Planted Rock Farm offers its vegetables at the Saturday morning Peachtree Road Farmers Market and in a community-supported agriculture program with a drop-off point in metro Atlanta. Kessler also sells his produce to local restaurants.

His preferred method to enjoy acorn squash? “I’m a straight-forward kind of guy. I like to roast them. Slice them in half, scoop out the seeds and roast them in a pan with a little bit of water until the squash is tender. Then, depending on how decadent you want to be, add some butter,” he said.

Acorn squash is a good keeper. Put in a dark, cool place, it can keep for up to six months, although it’s best used within a month or two.

Mary Yetter’s Stuffed Acorn Squash

Hands on: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes Serves: 4

Mary Yetter is manager of the Green Market at Piedmont Park and an accomplished home cook. The addition of fruit is one of the surprises in this filling. Yetter says peaches will be a little softer and sweeter while the pears will offer a texture that’s more firm. The recipe makes a generous amount of stuffing. If you have more than will fit into your squash, just bake it alongside the squash halves.

Yetter is always looking for home cooks who might like to offer a demonstration at the Saturday morning Green Market. If interested, contact her at

1 large acorn squash (about 2 pounds)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 pound all-beef sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 pound okra, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 1 cup)

1 ear corn, kernels cut from cob and cob discarded (about 1/2 cup)

1 Anaheim pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 peach or pear, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup 1-inch cubes crusty day-old bread

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup chicken, beef or vegetable stock, if needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by9-inch baking dish.

Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds. If necessary, cut a small sliver off bottom so halves will stay stable while baking. Brush cut surface of squash with olive oil and arrange cut side up in prepared baking dish. Bake until just beginning to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While squash is baking, make filling. In a large skillet, brown sausage over low heat, about 10 minutes. Drain off fat and add okra, corn, pepper, peach or pear, onion and garlic. Saute 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Move mixture to a large bowl and add bread cubes and soy sauce or Worcestershire. Taste for seasoning. Add stock if mixture seems to need moisture. Set aside.

When squash is ready, divide filling between squash halves and cover baking dish. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until top is brown. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 295 calories (percent of calories from fat, 45), 8 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 16 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 414 milligrams sodium.