Friday, February 2, 2024

The Speckled “Friendship” Carosello

Just to provide some context on the “Speckled Friendship” Carosello, this carosello variety originated from a packet of mixed-up, possibly polymorphic Carosello Spuredda Leccese seed sent to me by my friend Giuseppe. Similar to may other companies that sell seed from Italy, this specific Carosello seed from SeedSelect looked nothing like what was pictured on the seed package. I grew the first one out in the greenhouse in either late 2020 or early 2021 and then in 2022.

Being the third year that I have grown this variety, I already knew that it would not produce early in the season. For this reason, I grew it in my backyard garden. My backyard garden has been becoming less and less fertile due to a high population of some kind of fungus, tree roots invading the garden and year-to-year increased shade cover.

Unlike other years, when I can start in early May, the unseasonably cool and wet May in 2023 made it difficult to start plants when we normally would. I was not able to put my transplants into the ground until early June. Even then, the weather was very similar to at least a month earlier compared to the last five years.

Despite all the challenges, the speckled carosello did pretty well in the backyard garden. They were definitely slow though. I ended up pulling most of them out after the first week of September, though I was able to keep them from developing Powdery Mildew for much longer than I would have otherwise done.

My goal in growing the speckled carosello is to produce a cylindrical carosello variety. While the current population is still mostly oval, I was able to find a plant that only produced cylindrical fruit. In order to promote the trait, the seeds from this plant will become the foundation of my future population.




I decided to call this variety the “Speckled Friendship” carosello because my friend Giuseppe initially sent me the seed and I relied on my friend Giuseppe’s seed in later 2021. He sent the seed to me to begin with, I grew it out and sent it back to him. He then grew it to seed, sent it back to me and I grew out two generations since. Though I have known Giuseppe for over a decade, I have never met him in person. I hope that we will one day meet. Until then, I am very grateful to have such a good friend in Italy.

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