Oh, My Gourd!

October 9, 2020
| Created by Harmons

The Cucurbita genus is a mighty large family, and you probably already know about a few of these pumpkins, squash, and gourds. It’s the time of year when we invite them into our homes, both as decoration and also as a meal or two. So, what exactly is the difference between a pumpkin, a squash, and a gourd?

Tune in to the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, as Aaron Smart, produce manager for Harmons Emigration Market, joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young.

Despite the fact that the Emigration Market is the smallest store we have, Aaron is big on knowledge, and he definitely knows his gourds. We believe in shopping local, just like our customers, and most of our pumpkins, squash, and gourds come to us from Rojas Farms in West Jordan; McFarland Farms in Ogden; and Beck’s Family Farms in Centerfield.

Aaron shares that we also get a lot of “fancy variety” squash, and most of that comes out of the Northwest, but the spaghetti, acorn, and butternut squash are mostly grown here in the state, along with the carving pumpkins we all know and love.

Many of the varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds are decorative, but also edible. There are a few, however, that are not meant to be consumed, and you’ll want to listen to the podcast to find out which ones you should plan on displaying and not eating.

One of Aaron’s favorite pumpkins is the wolf pumpkin, known for its long thick handle that resembles a wolf’s snout. He says that one is definitely not known for its taste, so he recommends just displaying or carving it.

There’s a lot to learn about gourds in this podcast, including the difference between summer squash and winter squash, and a few facts you may never have heard.

Aaron shares how much he has learned as an associate of Harmons, and one of his favorite educational trips was a local venture, where he visited the farm of one of the largest pie cherry growers in the nation, located right in Santaquin, Utah.

And of course, we have lots of delicious recipes created with squash and pumpkin. For a timesaving tip, Chef Lesli recommends buying the recipe-ready butternut squash cubes that are already cut and prepared for you.

And make sure you guess the weight and enter to win the giant pumpkin that can be found in each location. Yes, the prize is the pumpkin. And it’s cool, with a graphic already carved into the front. It’s sure to add to your Halloween decor. 

Aaron Smart, Produce Manager at Emigration Market

Aaron Smart is the produce manager at our Emigration Market, which is our smallest store, but Aaron is big on knowledge about all the things that grow in the ground, especially pumpkins, squash, and gourds. He has been with Harmons for 13 years and his favorite part of the job is helping customers. Aaron is proud that he achieved a goal of graduating from college, and his father is his hero. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors, fly fishing, hiking, and camping. 

At Harmons, we are lucky to have incredibly talented artists at each store, and we’re sure you’ve seen their amazing chalk art as you wander throughout every location. We’re excited to be able to feature some of their work as the featured art on our podcast blog. This week’s art is by Suzanne Morris, from The District location.

If you enjoyed this podcast, you’ll want to listen to our other episodes. You can find them here.