Visitors to the Oakwood Saturday farm market are no doubt familiar with the gorgeous produce provided by Flying Mouse Farm out of Yellow Springs. Flying Mouse Farm brings a beautiful array of fresh, seasonal produce to market, along with hand-thrown pottery and maple syrup. The maple syrup is produced by tapping local sugar maple trees and turning that sap into syrup at a sugar shack at Flying Mouse Farm.
At Flying Mouse Farm, John DeWine and Michele Burns grow food year-round, using a wood-burning outdoor boiler to heat the water which is then piped through the greenhouses to keep the vegetables warm. The couple uses fallen branches from their property as well as tree waste donated by area tree trimmers as the source of the fuel for the boiler.
One of the current stars of the Saturday morning market is the beautiful, tender summer squash at the Flying Mouse stand. Summer squash is a very rich source of antioxidants, found in particular abundance in the skin of the squash - yet another reason to purchase organically-grown squash in order to avoid ingestion of unwanted contaminants.
Summer squash is an excellent source of manganese, vitamins C and A, and contains a good amount of carotenoid antioxidants: antioxidants which are particularly helpful in protecting the eyes against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. The antioxidants in summer squash remain stable with proper handling and preparation. Raw summer squash which has been briefly steamed - and even previously frozen raw summer squash - all provide excellent levels of antioxidants.
When paired with olive oil from the Miami Valley Spice Traders (another wonderful vendor at the Oakwood Farm Market), the flavors of these nutritious vegetables are enhanced but not overwhelmed. Simply sautée the sliced summer squash in a tablespoon of your choice of olive oil (the author used Blood Orange olive oil) until the squash is just tender, and enjoy!