Monday, August 31, 2009

Vegetable serpent


My neighbor loves to try new plants, no matter how weird or difficult to grow in our area. This is a cucuzzi gourd from his garden. He harvested one fruit that was 4.5 ft. long! One gourd can feed our entire block.

I read that some Italian growers train the vines to grow along tree branches so that the fruit will hang down for convenient harvest. They can be prepared and eaten as a summer squash when young. I sliced this one and fried it with garlic. Delicious.

6 comments:

  1. This has got to be a close relative of the zucchetta squash (also a member of the gourd family) we're growing in the demo garden, but not quite the same thing since that tends to swell out in a bulb at the end. I know we have pictures somewhere and I've been meaning to post them - will do that soon!

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  2. What's coming up for fall crops? I am putting in lettuce and kale, of course. Is it too late to plant peas? Anything else I should try to get in now?

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  3. I think 'Tromboncino' is another name for the same squash you are describing. Some have it classified as Cucurbita moschata. The cucuzzi is in the Lagenaria genus.

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  4. I'll be planting arugula, spinach, mustard and radish here in Central MD. I will also plant beets without much hope of getting decent size roots. It is too late to plant peas which are generally tough to pull off here as a fall crop.

    I'll also plant garlic in Oct-Nov and cover crops in the next week or two- winter oats, forage radfish, and crimson clover.

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  5. How are sweet potatoe vines eaten? Raw or cooked? I harvested 70 pounds of paste tomatoes this season and got about 12 quarts of tomatoe sauce plus some whole frozen and canned tomatoes. Has anyone made a greenhouse with removeable panes to convert into an open garden space during regular growing season? I would like to hear of any successful attempts to do this.

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  6. Harvest young leaves and stems throughout the growing season and eat them fresh, boiled, or sauteed. I like to chop and add then to pasta dishes, frittatas, and stir-fry. I have read that the leaves have a higher protein content than the roots (on a dry weight basis).

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