Skip to main content

Tromboncino!

Tromboncino!  I love saying the word.  I only just goggled it and found out that I've been spelling it wrong, not enough 'n's.  Well its difficult when you come across a vege that you've never met before, you don't know how to pronounce or spell its name and you don't really know how it will grow, when to harvest or how to eat it!  I suppose that adds to the excitement.  And there's always the possibility that a new vege may grow really well in your conditions AND taste nice too.

a tangle of tromboncinos
I was given tromboncino seeds by a lovely lady at our permaculture group (thanks Judi!) and I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I had read about them on Linda Woodrow's Witches Kitchen, so I know that they like to climb and that I may get more than I could eat.  Just in case, I only planted three seeds, and two of them made it out to the garden, planted next to the fence, so they could climb up if they wanted to.

They didn't do much through our dry spell, even though they were high priority for water.  I got two tromboncinos off them before it started raining.  Then they quadrupled in size and became COVERED in fruit.  They are doing way better than the zucchini and squash I planted, so they are a winner so far.  They have only just got a little powdery mildew (understandable in this weather) and hardly any trouble with blossom end-rot - both of which are my main problems with zucchini and squash.

Here's the two tronboncinos amongst beans and pickling cucumber
They are pale green and hook over things to form the weirdest shapes.  It can be quite difficult to find them in the foliage and then you realise just how many you have.....  The fact that they climb means that you can make use of vertical space as well as providing shade for more tender plants in the garden, which is much more convenient than scratchy zucchini leaves sprawled everywhere.

tromboncino with flowers

here's some mini ones starting to form
I think the reason that you don't see tromboncino as a commercial crop is that its quite easily bruised or snapped.  They don't have the thick skin of a zucchini and are not as fibrous.  The texture is really quite smooth, more like pumpkin, but not as tough.  I haven't grown one big enough to save seeds yet, so I have left a bigger one on the vine for later, but I think I might have to let it get rather huge!

here's what they look like on the inside
I have been using it like zucchini, either raw in salads, or cooked with other veges or in stew.  I'm going to dry the excess like I did with zucchini earlier in the year.

I will definitely be growing tromboncinos again next year and I hope I can save my own seeds as well.  It will be interesting to see how they survive into winter.  

Have you tried growing or eating tromboncino?  Would you like to?


Comments

  1. I have been watching this vegetable take over in so many gardens. You seem to think it grows well in the wet season - I wonder if it will grow up here in the tropics? I have yet to see any seeds available, but I will definitely be in line if you manage to save some seeds to give it a try up here. I am hoping to try to grow zucchini up trellises this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. try http://www.4seasonsseeds.com.au/Squash-Tromboncino

      If I do managed to save some, I will be sure to offer them to everyone :) You only need 2-3 plants to feed you all summer!

      Delete
  2. Here is the description in the local(Virginia) Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:
    http://www.southernexposure.com/tromboncino-squash-summer-3-g-p-163.html
    Tromboncino SQUASH, SUMMER 3 g
    Retail Price: $2.75
    [Heirloom] [Southern] [Organic] (C. moschata) 80 days. 80 days. [Italian heirloom] Light green fruits grow long, curving to a bell at one end. Vining plants can be grown on a trellis. Harvest at 8–10 in. long when the flavor is fine and sweet. Vigorous moschata plants can bear all season in areas where insects are a problem for other summer squash. If left to mature, skin will ripen to tan like a butternut squash. Grower Richard Moyer notes that the male squash blossoms sell well at market! Pkt. (3g)
    Sounds like something that I need to try! Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Gill, I hope this helps people to find them!

      Delete
  3. I'd like to give that a go down here in Tas. Never seen it before but it sounds like my cup of tea. Thanks for the info, will look out for something next spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will be interesting to see how they grow down there :)

      Delete
  4. I've had far too many of them this year (first year growing them). I use them in place of zucchini. I find they're easier to harvest as you can loop them over your arm or round your neck to carry a mass of them in at once, but more difficult to store as they're so big and twirly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm definitely going to try some of those next year, they sound great, so if you happen to manage to save any seed... :)
    I love the vision that the Frugal Farmlet has planted in my mind too of someone draped all over with them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, I never thought to carry them like that!

      Delete
  6. They look like the funnest vegetable. I've never even heard of them but will definitely look out for them now. I hope they do well in my climate.
    Just looked on the Kings Seeds and Koanga Garden Seeds sites and they don't sell them. Hmmm, this may prove tricky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Emma, try http://www.kingsseeds.co.nz/shop/Vegetables/Vegetable+Groups/Cucurbit+Family/Zucchini+-+Courgette/Zucchini+Rampicante-8740.html for tromboncino in NZ.

      Delete
  7. Great vegie to grow I've been growing it for several years and saving my own seed and sharing it around.
    I think I got my first seed from Digger's but I've seen it listed at 4 seasons seeds and The Italian Gardener as Tromba d'Albenga.
    I've just picked off the one I saved for seed as the vine had died now I hope the seed is viable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have some of your seed, but I am hoping to save my own too, worried that the blossom end rot is ruining it though...

      Delete
  8. new one on me,I have just got into growing different squashes at the moment so think it will have to go on the list to try,thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. I haven't tried but might do, having seen your post. Pumpkin and the like do go everywhere (which is great ground cooling cover for the fruit trees in summer) but we are now very careful where we walk because of the tiny prickle-hairs!

    Looking forward to see what you do with these veges. If they can be used like zucc then bonus! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cool. I love zucchini, maybe I should try these, too. Thanks for sharing with the HomeAcre Hop. Come back and see us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/self-sufficient-homeacre-hop-2/

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

** Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about my garden, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

Making tallow soap

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....
For some reason I've always thought that making soap seemed too hard.  For a start the number of ingredients required was confusing and all the safety warnings about using the alkali put me off.  The worst part for me was that most of the ingredients had to be purchased, and some even imported (palm oil and coconut oil), which never seemed very self-sufficient.  I can definitely see the benefits of using homemade soap instead of mass produced soap (that often contains synthetic fragrance, colour, preservatives, and has had the glycerine removed), but it seemed to me that if I was going to buy all the ingredients I may as well just buy the soap and save myself all the hassle.  For the past several years I have bought homemade soap from various market stalls and websites, and that has suited me just fine.