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History and Facts:
Squash is native to the Western Hemisphere and was consumed centuries ago by the Narragansett Indians. We still follow their example and eat summer squash while tender and unripe, although it is usually cooked. Florida produces acorn, butternut, yellow crookneck, yellow straightneck, white, and zucchini squash.

Squash yields and production both increased in 1996-98, and more than made up for a 14 percent decline in prices.

Dade is Floridas leading squash-growing county, accounting for more than 60 percent of the 1996-97 state crop.

Nutritional Value:
Hard shell squash are good sources of vitamin A and iron. In fact, a half cup of baked butternut squash provides about 128 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A. Soft-skinned "summer" type squash, both green and yellow, have a valuable amount of vitamin C and also provide useful amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

The ideal temperature for storing summer squash is 45 to 50 degrees fahrenheit. Winter varieties should be stored at 50 to 55 degrees fahrenheit. Relative humidity should be 90 to 95 percent for summer varieties and 50 to 75 percent for winter squash.

September through June