Purpose + Gardens

Our Purpose:

To Discover: To discover and gather as many Carosello and other unique cucumber-melon varieties as possible.

To Preserve: To grow out each variety, selecting unique traits that have characterized each specific cucumber variety for many years.

To Distribute: Once each variety is stabilized, to distribute high quality seed to others.


The Gardener:

I am an amateur organic garden enthusiast in Fairfield, California. Though my hobby is gardening, the bulk of my life outside of work consists of spending time with my wife and raising four children.

My Garden:

In Fairfield, California (USDA Zone 9b) my garden has a small 10x20 square foot plot, with most of it available for gardening space. The soil began with 10 cubic yards of compost mixed in with native soil. I am constantly sifting and adding things. I feed my soil with home-made compost as well as basalt dust, EM-1, as well as other healthy things. I mainly grow for the warm summer, and always try to grow some form of nitrogen-rich cover crop each winter.

My new Garden, as it started out.

My garden, Late Summer 2018

The greenhouse: 

This is an 6'x8'x7' structure next to my garden that allows me to trial additional Carosello varieties and continue to grow my favorite purple sweet potato varieties from the spring until late fall. In early spring it is also used for various vegetable starts.

Tomato Gardens: 

While I do still enjoy growing tomato plants, with how intensely tomato plants deplete the soil I am not able to grow both tomatoes and my carosello cucumbers in my garden. Instead, I have a couple plots in my garden where I grow them. One is in a wine barrel and another is next to a Clementine tree that I recently planted.

Other Gardens: Friends occasionally give me the opportunity to garden in their soil. This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to coordinate efforts with others while giving me the opportunity to grow out some carosello varieties that I have not had the opportunity to grow out before this time.

Gardens I have grown in 2018:

The Fertile Garden: A friend of ours, who was not able to get to his yard because of other needs, asked if one of my sons would be able to help take care of the weeding and mowing of his front and back yard. I decided to come to help and eventually was offered a plot to work in. The soil in this friend's garden has been worked on for years and is incredibly fertile.

The  Chicken Garden: Another friend of mine had the same son come over to babysit his chickens. While showing us around, he offered to have me grow in his garden. The soil is rocky and has not been worked in for a while, but still has growing potential. I decided to use a small portion of his garden so that I would not have to constantly weed it.


My Previous Garden: Until 2015

Though my initial post describes me well enough, more information would help to provide some background about myself and my gardening.

The Gardener: I am an amateur organic garden enthusiast working in the desert climate of Tucson, Arizona. Though my hobby is gardening, the bulk of my life outside of work consists of spending time with my wife and raising four children.

My family enjoying some produce

The Gardens: My garden consists of two plots. One plot is along a south-facing wall along the north of my property and another plot is more towards the middle of my yard, next to my shed. The plot along the south facing wall I utilize as my winter garden and includes an area I call “The Kids’ Garden”. The plot towards the middle of my property is used in the summer. Both plots are 2' deep lowered beds that I water between 1-3 times a week using a simple timer and soaker hose. I furlough and “feed” the off-season plots with lots of organic matter to enable my gardens to recuperate from the heavy demands of my intense growing practices.

Side view of Winter Garden

A birds-eye view of my Summer Garden

What I grow: With a family to feed, I focus the majority of my growing efforts on vegetables. Some of the criteria I use to determine what veggies I will plant include what the family will eat, the upkeep required to maintain a plant, and if the cultivar (specific variety) of vegetable is captivating enough to maintain my interests. To me, seed saving is an integral part of the gardening process.

Gardening Philosophy: The gardener is the steward of a living organism (the soil). Garden soil is akin to a stomach that needs plenty of quality organic matter to maintain the healthy bacteria that lead to healthy plants. The title of this blog originates from my desire to apply science and research to organic gardening. My garden teaches me much more than I could ever teach it.

Saving seed: I grow open-pollinated varieties because I feel that they are not “fixed” but, though selection, can be adapted to my specific climate and needs. Selecting for desirable traits in a specific vegetable rather than hybridizing two separate varieties enables me to move a little closer to my goal each year, rather than spend the next 7 generations culling, or removing off-types, of a specific vegetable. Each of us can adapt, and so can the vegetable varieties we grow. Selecting for desirable traits requires patience, time commitment, and keen observation.

Contact Information:
Feel Free to Contact me at


  1. Hi! Reading your post on Armenian cukes! I’m a novice canner and I’m reading it is technically a melon. I’m wondering if you know the Ph value since the acidity- if more like a melon should not be canned and can lead to botulis forming. Wondering if you can assist me? Any info you have is greatly appreciated. I’ve seen refrigerator pickles but I’m interested in long term storage (1 year) Thanks!

    1. Thank you for reaching out to me, Chris. I'm not exactly sure on the acid content, but many quick pickles are preserved more by salt than by acidity. As they are not very sweet, I would imagine that the recipe would be very similar to pickles made from regular cucumbers.


Dear Gardening Friends,
I look forward to learning more about gardening with you. Your comments help me recognize that gardening is a life-long journey.

To advertisers: Note that this blog is concerned with gardening and gardening techniques. Please do not attempt to advertise here by leaving a comment. Depending upon how egregious the comment is, it may be deleted.