Bartolomeo Tromboncino was a 15th century Italian composer. He was known for various misdemeanours and murders including that of his wife, whom he apparently caught, as the Italians say, in flagrante delicto. Despite his rocky history, Tromboncino’s frottolas make for peaceful background music while you’re working away in the garden on a sunny afternoon (and may even boost your annual harvests, according to a cool science experiment).
Less murderous (yet at times still just as twisted) is the mild, elongated summer squash known as tromboncino. This member of the cucurbit family can get quite wild and sprawling on the ground, its fruits twisting and contorting into all kinds of curly food-snakes that would give anyone the willies. When disciplined with a bit of nifty trellising work however, it makes for a magnificent vine for a space efficient vertical garden, with tromboncinos galore growing earthward like long green flavour thermometers.
An open pollinated variety, it is known to be quite resistant to vine borers and other pests that usually attack summer squash, so it’s low maintenance requirements and boundless generosity offer some consolation for its tendency to be an intrusive neighbour in the garden bed. It’s a voracious plant with a big yield and as such it is recommended to stall it by sowing seeds late in the summer season, given that with enough time left to its own devices the tromboncino can send out vines up to 6m in length.
In the kitchen, vegetables harvested early have a sweeter flavour like zucchini, which approaches something more like butternut squash when left to mature more fully. Given that a single plant can produce up to 20 or more tromboncinos, it is convenient that they lend themselves to a wide array of recipes. Some ideas include dried tromboncino chips, creamy summer soups, pickled tromboncinos and tromboncino fritters. With the inevitable left-overs on the vine you may even find yourself quizzical enough on a full belly of tromboncino delights, to try your hand at making an actual tromboncino instrument.
Seriously Over-Supplied with tromboncinos!!! Such a rookie error ? I try to pick em smaller and smaller but I swear I turn my back for 10 seconds and they double in size! Or maybe they’re crying out to be saved cause they know this is the first and last time I’ll be growing them in my small space! . . #tromboncino #sos #zucchini #zucchinieverything #gardenfarmer #theplummery #permaculture #permaculturelife
As a helpful guide, here’s some excellent advice on building your own squash trellis out of reclaimed materials, and hopefully will provide a bit of inspiration to get back out there in the changing of seasons to keep on turning old stuff into good stuff, grey stuff into brown stuff, and green stuff into yum stuff.