Squash named Vegetable of the Year for DuluthThe Duluth Community Garden Program, which introduced us to kale in 2011 and beets last year, has announced that the versatile, healthful squash is the One Vegetable, One Community 2013 Vegetable of the Year.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Duluth will be awash in squash this year.
The Duluth Community Garden Program, which introduced us to kale in 2011 and beets last year, has announced that the versatile, healthful squash is the One Vegetable, One Community 2013 Vegetable of the Year.
“Squash ambassador” Michael Gabler and Jahn Hibbs, coordinator of the community garden program, said in a news release that squash was chosen based on a straw poll at the Beet Community Potluck last fall as well as from Facebook chatter.
Beans, lettuce, carrots and potatoes also got straw poll support, according to the One Vegetable, One Community Facebook page.
The group has fun with its Veggie of the Year program, conceived as a takeoff on the Duluth Public Library’s annual “One Book, One Community” program in which everyone is encouraged to read the same book.
But there’s a serious purpose: to “inspire new ideas for building a better, more resilient and inclusive food system,” Gabler and Hibbs said.
During their years in the limelight, kale and beets were featured on restaurant menus, in hospitals and colleges, growing in front of businesses, in the lunch lines at the Damiano Center, in snacks at after-school programs and at community potlucks.
Squash is a worthy successor, Gabler and Hibbs said. The many forms of squash are rich in Vitamins A and C and contain insulin-regulating properties that are beneficial to diabetics. They are fun for kids to grow, producing sprawling vines from small seeds. They appear in many guises, from acorn to zucchini, they grow well in the Northland, and they can be stored easily for months. They pair well with a Northland mainstay: wild rice.
For people who want to try growing their own squash, free starter kits will be available starting in March at all three branches of the Duluth Public Library, at the Duluth Grill and at the community garden office in the Damiano Center.
Anyone interested in taking a leadership role in One Vegetable, One Community is invited to call Gabler at (218) 464-8640.