The vegetable garden aims to reintroduce visitors to three varieties of cardoon, melon and zucchini that were once very well known in the Bologna area but today have nearly disappeared.
The Bolognese cardoon, also known in Italian as “hundred leaves”, was a typical crop of the area. It was picked from late autumn to early winter and was eaten both raw and cooked in various dishes.
The melone rospo, literally “toad melon”, is a member of the cantaloupe family once widely recognized in Emilia. It has the external appearance of a round winter squash with a wart-covered rind that becomes yellow when mature. The flesh of the melon is an intense orange and the taste is much more pronounced than most modern cantaloupe varieties.
The Bolognese zucchini is a medium-length variety of light green color, which gives a very high yield if planted early. Its bottle-shape makes it particularly suited for dishes like stuffed zucchini. Today it is grown by only few farmers specialized in vintage cultivars.