What's Growing at Emmaus Grove?
Cucuzzi gourd

“Wow! That is amazing!” Sister Anne McCarthy, OSB, an Emmaus board member, exclaimed upon seeing the enormous squash in my hands. “What’s its name?” she continued.

Sister Anne saw the Cucuzzi gourd I was holding. I had picked it that afternoon from Emmaus Grove. She was amazed because the squash was over two feet long. Grown in the Mediterranean for over 2,000 years, the Cucuzzi gourd is part of the squash family, but there are some big differences from other varieties of squash that might come to mind.

While it can be harvested and eaten when it is 8-10 inches, the gourd can grow up to three feet. And while it can be prepared the same way zucchini is cooked, its vines can grow up to 20 feet. Cucuzzi gourds are also grown at Monticello, and have been grown at the famed Virginia residence dating back to the late 1700’s when Thomas Jefferson lived there.

At Emmaus Grove, volunteer gardeners have already harvested over 1,200 pounds of produce this season. Surely a contributor to the bounty is the Cucuzzi gourd.

By Valerie Luckey, OSB, Ministry Assistant at Emmaus

Photo: Sister Val holds the Cucuzzi gourd at Emmaus Grove