January 2012
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Tromboncino – Zucchini with a Flair

Inspired by Daisy and her flock,the Tromboncino posed as the mother duck and the Zephr zuccs as the ducklings.

Ready for a change from my usual selection of zucchini varieties last year (Zephyr and Costata Romanesca),I was drawn to the description of a vining form requiring a sturdy trellis for its rampant growth. It was Zucchetta Rampicante,otherwise known as Tromboncino for the huge,fruits that form,reminiscent of brass instruments when left un-harvested. Both FEDCO and Pine Tree Seeds,two of my favorite seed companies,carry the seed.

Since one of the plants on my heavy-duty grape trellis died the year before,I decided to try the tromboncino in its place. As advertised,the vines grew like crazy,climbing up to meet the grape vines overhead and fruiting prolifically in July and again in September.

These elongated zucchinis hang elegantly from the vines and as described in the FEDCO catalogue,they are “tender,mild,sweet and nutty when harvested as summer squash at 8-12.” FEDCO also indicates that any fruit that grows beyond that stage can be baked as winter squash.

I didn’t mean to grow a fully mature Tromboncino,but as the leaves withered in early October,there at the top of the trellis was a magnificent specimen. Very photogenic. I can’t wait to see what dramatic characters will arrive with the next season’s planting of Tromboncino.

Still life - Seated Tromboncino in fall foliage.

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