Cucuzzi Gourd (Organic)
Lagenaria siceraria. Light Green. 65-75 days.
The original zucchini grown for thousands of years in Europe, these pale green gourds are best eaten before they reach 12″ long. With their white flesh and very mild flavor they are versatile in the kitchen and can be used in any dish that calls for summer squash. The leaves and tendrils, known as tenerumi, are also eaten in Sicily. Fully mature fruit ripens to a woody rind that can be cured and used to make dipper gourds or creative Halloween costumes (octopus? elephant?). In our standard squash growing conditions, mature fruit topped out at about 4′ long, but this is the same species used in long gourd competitions – the current world record, set in 2015, is almost 12.5′ long! Rampant, fuzzy vines produce beautiful white flowers that are pollinated at night by moths – in the absence of the right pollinators, hand pollination may be necessary. Would be a good candidate to climb up a shade trellis. The 1950s song “My Cucuzza” by Louis Prima is an awesome tribute to this garden specialty that may just inspire you to add it to your garden. Please take a moment to find it on YouTube – we promise that you won’t be sorry!
Cannot ship to Australia.
Sow indoors in 2-4” pots May through mid- June. Transplant into the garden 1-2 weeks after sprouting to 2-3’ centers and 3’ wide rows. May also be direct sown when soil is warm. Young plants are sensitive, we recommend row cover to protect from frost and insects. Rampant vines trellis well. May require hand-pollination to set fruit.
To save seed, let fruit mature on plant until autumn when they’re giant. Harvest fruit, cure for several months, then scoop out seeds. Rinse off and dry. Isolate from other gourds of the same species by at least ½ mile.