Of all the Italian seed companies I have acquired seed from SeedSelect has to be the most mixed-up of them all. In all the times I have grown their varieties, I honestly don’t recall ever getting a fruit that looked exactly like what was on the label. Sometimes this can be extremely frustrating. If I were a regular gardener, this kind of inconsistency would drive me crazy. However, if there is sufficient biological deviance, beautiful things can happen.
My friend Giuseppe grew out a Carosello Barese several years ago that had flecked dark spots on them. While the fruit was beautiful, we were unfortunately not able to save the seed – even after I tried growing out many seeds from the same packet. For all I knew, the flecked Carosello Barese was lost to the world.
Given that there is generally a high level of variability with carosello cucumbers and given that I had observed some really off-type cucumbers from SeedSelect before, I decided to try growing out the Spuredda Leccese SeedSelect once again. Not knowing that I could produce anything like my friend’s flecked Leccese, I planted a couple more seeds of this variety and hoped for the best.
Imagine my delight when I began seeing flecks on the skin. I was so very happy. While in gardening, I have come to better understand the carosello and other immature C. melo cultivars, this was just an incredibly fortunate tender mercy. I was both surprised an honored by the gift of a second chance. I did all I could to save the seed and pass it on to my friend, Giuseppe.
While there is still a possibility that my friend and I could lose the speckled or flecked Spuredda Leccese again, I truly hope that we can preserve it to be enjoyed by future generations.