Rampicante pumpkins at the community garden

Rampicante is a type of butternut pumpkin that grows like a vigorous zucchini. In fact, it likes to climb everywhere and will continue to fruit when the zucchini or pumpkins have finished off. 

The fruit is so versatile; eat when small and young, at the beginning of the season or at the end of the season when they will not have the chance to grow big. Leave plenty on the vine, and there will be plenty to grow large. Cure these by leaving two weeks in a sunny spot and they will feed you through the winter. 

The long neck doesn’t have any seeds so it’s easy to prep. The cured large rampicante are sweet like a mild butternut. The young rampicante are like a dense zucchini/kamokamo. They are really versatile in stir fries because they don’t lose their shape!

Rampicante are great conversation starters and so easy to transport too. Take them for a walk like a trombone (tromboncino is another name for them), or swing them around your neck and hop on your bike! Grow them next season, you won’t be disappointed!

These are just a few of the huge crop that Whāingaroa Environment Centre Food Security Coordinator Tania Ashman and the amazing team of volunteers have grown at the Wi Neera Community Garden.

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