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Saving Tromboncino Seed

Tromboncino is my new favourite vegetable.   I got my seed from Diggers and I think they will displace zucchini in my garden. They grow like a very rampant cucumber, and by using lots of vertical space they conserve my precious intensively fenced ground space.

In my enthusiasm this year, I planted a couple of vines each planting break from late winter on. I now have one or two vines in each bed, growing up the south side fence, and I’ve got to the point where the neighbours and the chooks are just about over tromboncino and I don’t dare go away for the weekend for fear of them taking over the whole garden. Luckily I have a good repertoire of zucchini recipes, that all seem to work well with tromboncino.

I am going to try to see how long they will keep growing through winter. I have one vine that is now almost a year old – survived right through last winter. It is not bearing well enough any more to justify it’s spot, and last winter was very mild,  but still, it’s impressive.

I have let a couple of the fruit grow out to save seed.  This is my first attempt at saving seed from them, so it’s experimental, but I figure they probably go much like pumpkin or cucumber.  I have been picking the fruit at this size – about 30 to 50 cm – for eating, so it has been interesting watching these ones growing, and growing, and growing.

The bulb at the bottom has the seeds in it, a bit like a butternut pumpkin. I’ve washed and dried them, and I shall test a couple for germination this month, though I suspect like the rest of their family they are really a hot weather crop.  We have been eating all the neck part like a pumpkin. It’s not the best pumpkin ever – a bit bland and watery, like a gramma – but it works fine in soups and stews, diced and steamed as a side dish, or in muffins and scones.

If the zombocalypse hits, I think we’ll be living on tromboncino, Jerusalem artichokes, and bush turkeys.


{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Gillian February 22, 2012, 10:53 am

    Wow I have often wondered how those would do here in the wet season. That might be worth trying – I just wish my garden was bigger. I also use as much vertical space as possible. I am trying zucchini this winter, so many times they just rot though. I read about gardeners being swamped by zuchini, but it never happens to me, guess this is the next option. I do use loofah when they are small and they resemble a zucchini.

  • brenda February 22, 2012, 11:16 am

    OMGoodness, that sucker is huge. How exciting! Is it something that might keep for a while after picked (like butternut)?

    I grow Jerusalem artichokes too. And just learned last year to leave them stored in the ground over the winter and dig as needed. I chop them small and toss into a salad, or just munch on them straight up for a crunchy snack.

    What is a bush turkey and do you by any chance have a picture?

    brenda from ar

  • Linda February 22, 2012, 11:39 am

    Bush turkeys are large, black, birds with very small brains. Picture here. They eat all our bananas, and are a garden menace. They’re native and protected, so I am joking about eating them, but there are so many it is seriously not an environmental issue, and any good permaculturist would say “the problem is the (delicious) solution”.

  • Linda February 22, 2012, 11:41 am

    I have another friend who has just recently recommended angled luffa too. Something I shall have to try.

  • Gillian February 22, 2012, 12:27 pm

    I can send you some seeds if you like – you get hundreds in each loofah!

  • Linda February 22, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Hi Gillian, I would love it but quarantine would block them. Sadly.

  • Sandy February 22, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Linda, you may have found the solution to world hunger! You could speak to the Mohammed Yunis about handing out seeds with micro loans!!

  • brenda from ar February 23, 2012, 1:16 pm

    They resemble a buzzard (the bush turkey). I wonder if species protection laws are like government agencies – “once born, they never die”.

  • Joan April 1, 2013, 10:34 am

    The tromboncinis are really delicious if you eat them much smaller, with the flower still on and the fruit only 3 cm in diameter; at that stage they are not much more than 30 cm long. Chop them into 1 cm pieces and toss them in hot oil with garlic. They are so abundant that one can afford to not let them get any bigger.

  • Linda April 1, 2013, 11:14 am

    I agree Joan. I let them get this big just for seed. They’re edible but not very gourmet at this size.

  • Nick March 17, 2017, 8:29 pm

    Currently growing about 6 plants down here in melbourne, bought a punnet of “zuchinni” from bunnings which Mistakenly turned out to be these Tromboncino type, the garden has been taken over! picked 1 about 1m long and made 4 huge zuchinni slices with it and have to say it tastes better than it would with an ordinary zuchinni. Apart from having more bushes than needed to serve 3 people, i think its been a good mistake…. My friends and neighbors will be getting some.

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