Do you remember Golden Zucchini? Just two years ago I said that much as we liked it, it was not a very reliable producer, but that we continued to grow it in the absence of better versions. Well, that was then. This spring we got some Rheinau Gold open pollinated zucchini from Adaptive Seeds. After only one season of growing it, I have to say, this looks like the open pollinated yellow zucchini we’ve been dreaming of.
Adaptive Seeds notes that it’s still a bit smaller and slower growing than most green zucchini varieties. That’s okay. This has been a ridiculously difficult year for growing all cucurbits (except the Sumter cucumbers, which are doing just fine, thank you). The zucchini and butternut squash were put, due to the roll of the rotation dice, into what is currently our worst bed. It is too close to some hazelnut “bushes” which have grown to the size of small trees in the last few years, and provide too much shade in exchange for sucking up too much water and nutrients. On top of that, we had a heat wave and drought for 2 weeks just as everything was getting ready to go. Most of the zucchini is really not doing all that well (and I doubt we will get a single butternut, boo). Rheinau Gold is the one exception. Okay; Tatume is doing pretty well too. Not surprising – it’s from Mexico.
Yes, we can watch the baby squash coming along for several days to a week before we decide to pick them, but they are coming along with placid steadiness in spite of the poor conditions. When it was horrifically hot and dry they were practically the only zucchini producing fruit, although they did slow down a bit. I’m talking close to 35°C for days. Just about everything else was producing nothing but male blossoms.
They seem to be not quite so consistently perfectly yellow as Golden zucchini. You can see a typical one in the picture, with a dark green cap by the stem and blush of green on the shaded side of the fruit. I don’t mind that; I think it’s distinctive and charming, in fact.
They taste good and they stay tender and delicate even though they are somewhat slow growing. I’ve picked a few other zucchini this year that weren’t all that big, but that turned out to be much more tough, seedy, and mature than expected, again due to the weather and lack of water.
Rheinau Gold is a fairly new zucchini. It comes from Sativa Rheinau, a Swiss biodynamic seed house that also apparently do their own breeding. Looks to me like this one will go far… well, it already has. *Waves from Ontario*