Courgette

Cucurbita pepo, C. moschata, C. maxima

Few vegetables can provide such an abundant harvest as the courgette. As long as it is given the right conditions and is harvested regularly, it produces new fruits from summer to autumn.

Dark Fog, organic seeds

Costata Romanesco, organic seeds

Cocozelle, organic seeds

Tondo Chiaro di Nizza, organic seeds

Custard White, organic seeds

Lebanese White Bush, organic seeds

Gold Rush, organic seeds

Yellow Crookneck

Tromboncino, organic seeds

Saffron, organic seeds

Striato d´Italia, organic

Lemon Squash, organic

Early Prolific Straightneck, organic seeds

Ortolana di Faenza, organic seeds

History

Courgette is an early, shrub-like plant that produces lots of new fruit as long as they are harvested. Some single varieties with winding tendrils are also available. (See the variety descriptions.)

Squash and pumpkin, both belong to the cucumber family Cucurbitaceae and are annual climbing plants from Central America. Their origin is shrouded in mystery and no wild relative and possible ancestor has been found.

The earliest squash was small and bitter and probably only the seeds, rich in protein and vitamins, were used. Already 9000 years ago squash and pumpkins were cultivated resembling those we have today. Since then they have been very important as a basic food for Native Americans in South- Central- and North America together with beans and corn.
When the Europeans came to America they were surprised to find the multitude and number of squash there were, from small sweet, juicy ones to hard, dry giants being baked whole in the embers.

In Europe the American squash was received coolly. The "pumpkin", which had been grown in Europe in the Middle Ages had come from the "hanging gardens" of Babylon via the Roman Empire, was almost certainly of the Lagenaria family (gourds). The squash wasn't seen as worthy of human consumption until the 1800s with one exception, the Italians, who took a fancy to the fast growing, mild varieties of squash. They had developed their Zucchini 300 years ago. It was, however, via USA the squash arrived in Europe to greater extent around the 1900s in the company of a great many other sorts for both summer and winter use.

One big question mark remains, however, in the history of squash, their well documented cultivation and use in East Asia long before our calendar began. How did they come there? From where? Did they originate there?