[Market-farming] Middle Eastern Gherkens (aka Burr Cucumbers)

Marlin Burkholder glenecofarm at planetcomm.net
Mon Jul 19 00:47:07 EDT 2004

For the past two seasons I have been trying to grow mid eastern Gherkens of
which some of my Kurdish friends gave me seed.  These are not the same as
the Gherken pickles that can commonly be found in grocery stores, (a type of
canned pickling cucumber).  The Kurdish word for it is "Trozi".   Sometimes
it is called "Burr Cucumber" though it is not really a true cucumber.  The
leaves on the plant look more like thoses of muskmelons than cucumbers.  I
have read that Burr cucumbers will not cross pollinate with true cucumbers.
Musk melons will cross with cucumbers.  The fruit is shaped and sized much
like cucumbers, is light green in color and is covered with a fine fuzz.
Taste is similar to that of cucumber, maybe a little sweeter.

I have yet to be really sucessful growing them here in Virginia's Shenandoah
Valley.  Based on what a few Kurdish people have told me, I'm thinking of
trying to get them out a little earlier next year and under row cover.  I
would be interested in what experiences, if any, others have had growing
them.  To the best of my knowledge there are only one or two sources of
seed, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds or Seed Savers Exchange.  One of my Kurdish
customers has told me that he can have one of his friends bring me some seed
directly from Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

Marlin Burkholder

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