Friday, January 22, 2010

This is Turkey! / Burası Türkiye!

Once you live in Turkey a while and create your little bubble of order in the relative chaos of Istanbul (relative, because when I go back to the US I frequently find myself exasperated at things that I never thought twice about when I lived there), it's easy to forget that you live in what some might consider a Second-world country (I don't think it's been "Third-world" for quite a while). And then you come across something that reminds you. Turks tend to explain such things with the catch phrase, "Burası Türkiye!" (This is Turkey) as if no further explanation were needed.

I had a minor little burası Türkiye moment yesterday when I was trading some squash seeds with friends and decided to give in to my inner Pandora and peek into the commercial packet of winter squash seeds I got last fall. The seed packet should have been a hint - packaged in 2004, with a badly focused and printed picture of some sort of pumpkin, and no particular variety indicated. But when I opened it, I got more of a surprise than i expected! Here is part of the contents:

There are no less than two different Cucurbita maxima varieties, as well as some other seeds that look like C. pepo or maybe C. moschata. And a bean.

If I had a huge amount of extra room, I would plant a selection just to see what would come out; some might be good. But I'm not going to do the grunt work of opening up 200 more square feet for unknowns when there is so much dependable seed of such amazing varieties available. If I planted them I'd likely get something like the mix in this picture a friend took in Antalya. There is definitely a C. maxima or two, and several moschatas in various shapes and sizes. The maximas might actually be good; they look like some sort of banana squash. I've had some of the dubious moschatas before in Greece; they tend to be fibrous and watery, but with this much variety who knows? I'll probably chuck them, unless there is someone out there who would like to grow a few mystery squashes.

I'm totally planting the bean though.

No comments: