Cucamelons: Melothria scabra

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Witch Doctor 01, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    A little something that grows wild in my back yard.... Cucamelons a strange little fruit that loos like little watermelons growing on a cucumber vine... Tart slightly sour I like to slice them with cucumbers, Onions and red wine vinegar...

    Why Southerners Should Grow Cucamelons This Year

    Caroline Rogers

    No, the cucamelon isn’t a figment of your imagination, it’s the fruit-filled vine your garden needs this year.

    What is it?
    Cucamelons are tiny, grape-sized fruits that taste like cucumbers, but with a touch of tart sourness. They look like miniature watermelons and are also known as Mexican sour gherkins, or Melothria scabra. You may also know them by their other nicknames: mouse melons, Mexican miniature watermelons, Mexican sour cucumbers, or pepquinos. Cucamelons are native to Mexico and Central America.

    Can I eat it?
    Oh, yes. The cucamelon is tiny, juicy, and entirely edible—skin and all. In fact, they’re packed with vitamins and antioxidants and carry with them many of the same health benefits associated with cucumbers and melons.

    In the kitchen, cucamelons are an unexpected addition to entrée salads or fruit salads, and they are a quirky (and delicious) garnish for main dishes, sides, and cocktails. (Cucamelon relish, anyone?) You can use the cucamelon whole or blend it into other dishes. You can also pickle it, which will be a preparation near and dear to Southerners’ hearts. Use it as you would a cucumber, and you’ll spice up your cuisine with its fresh, tart, and utterly unexpected flavor.

    How do I grow it?
    We’re glad you asked. Cucamelon plants love warm weather, so summer in the South is an ideal environment for them. It’s best to plant them in the spring so they can germinate in plenty of time to enjoy the hot summer sun. You may want to grow them in pots so you can bring them indoors to keep warm when nighttime temperatures begin to drop. In terms of daily care, cucamelon plants need full sun, regular watering, and well-drained soil to ensure they bear fruit. The cucamelon plant is a vine and will also need a trellis structure upon which to climb as it grows.

    @Brokor I'm still in...
    Brokor, duane, tacmotusn and 3 others like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Thanks for sharing that. Strange stuff but a source of good eating when times is hard...
  3. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I like edible plants that provide a visual barrier. Sounds like something to plant along a fence line and see if it makes it or not.
    Witch Doctor 01 likes this.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have never seen these. Another article said these plants are ignored by pests and drought tolerant. Since this plant came from Mexico, I think I could grow them or try growing them here. Plus they grow in pots.

    I thought this was helpful:
    Cucamelons can also be treated like a perennial providing you with fruit year-after-year. In late autumn once the fruiting period is over, lift the cucamelon’s main radish like root and store in barely moist compost in a garage or shed over winter. Plant out again in early April to achieve early fruiting.
    Cucamelon: Growing Guide - Suttons Gardening Grow How

    @Witch Doctor 01 you said these grow wild in your backyard, you do not have to protect yours over the winter? Also, are the vines sturdy? Could they be used for cordage if needed?
    DuxDawg and Dunerunner like this.
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    vines are like a weaker version of cucumber vines... so no to cordage.. I haven't checked the after winter...
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