A very large (60-100lb) gourd that is fairly easy to grow, but requires heavy feeding and consistent watering, especially in our dry climate. Natural pollination can be difficult with this night-blooming plant, but a little manual help can go a long way.
Between the First and Second World Wars, this incredible gourd was grown in the South Okanagan and Similkameen as a significant cash crop. However, agricultural fashion shifted and these big beauties disappeared–so much so, that by the 1980’s there may have only been a single person still growing them:Â Mr. Glenn Swenson of Sandwich, Illinois. Fortunately, Sharon Rempel, the Grist Mill’s founding Head Gardener, tracked him and his seeds own and planted them out here, sharing them with a few of our neighbours.Â We still grow them every year on site and are pleased to now be able to share seeds with you, in case you’d like to try your hand at growing something that’s been described as “a cross between a vegetable marrow and a hippopotamus”.
(Despite their being commonly called a “zucca melon”, they are in fact bottle gourds… Come visit us if you’d like learn more about the great melon conspiracy.)