Friday, October 28, 2022

Consuming the Entire Zucchini Plant

Do you think that you would ever eat the entire zucchini plant? Here's a little more "how to" from an organization that works to promote regional agriculture and agricultural practices in Southern Italy. From my understanding, before consuming the stem and leaves, it helps to remove the stringy fibers. So next time you think about tossing that zucchini plant, try eating it instead!

Friday, October 21, 2022

Entrusting Stewardship of a Carosello Variety

When I began gardening as a hobby, I never thought I would be growing gourmet cucumbers. In Tucson, I was just happy to grow anything that would taste decent and wanted to share what I enjoy with others.


In 2021 I entrusted stewardship of the Light Carosello Leccese with Uprising Seeds. I felt that, given their more northern latitude, a very short season variety would fit their needs much more than a longer-season variety, such as the Barattiere or the Long Dark Armenian cucumber. They were able to grow it out and it did well for them. While this is just one variety, it was very nice to have at least one company shouldering the responsibility of stewarding at least one of my higher-quality carosello cucumber varieties.They are already selling it.

While I am still very unsure about how this kind of competition will affect my hobby business, it is wonderful for my well-being.

After years of working to preserve and share these varieties, I am beginning to understand why heritage seedsavers cherish their heirloom varieties. The hope that what you have worked for will endure. Because of how much I love delicious rare cucumber varieties, I would never wish to be the last person to grow them.

With all the cucumber cultivars that I work with, it is a relief to know that some of these may continue to be produced for longer than I'll be around.

Again, hopefully the link works. In any case, here is their current offering:

Friday, October 14, 2022

Jumping Spider Eating Cucumber Beetle

For all of you dealing with cucumber beetles, don't forget to keep your beneficial insects around.









Thanks to Di P. Regan shared these pictures in a Facebook Gardening Group.




Friday, October 7, 2022

The Carosello Spuredda Tarantino – Last Try

Have you ever had that experience with another person that you keep trying to get the relationship to work out, but the dynamics never seems to line up? That’s about my best description of my multi-year experience with the Carosello Spuredda Tarantino. 






This is a very good-looking variety with dark bands of light and dark color on some of the fruit and more mottled banded color on other fruit. The shape of the fruit is anywhere between cylindrical to oval to almost round. The taste is also variable and unfortunately is, at best, in the “tolerable” range of cucumber-melons.


























A friend of mine had recently gifted me another packet of this variety, so I thought that it might just be a little different than those I had previously grown. Not a bit. 
































While there is definitely some potential to this carosello variety (a variety that is probably more closely related to the southeast Asian variety Timun Krai or another Asian variety than to carosello) I have decided that – at least for now – I will store this variety away for another day. While others may appreciate all it has to offer, for now I am glad to get a break from trying any more – at least for the next several years.