Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mouse Melon


Whats this? A watermelon the size of a grape? A giant holding a full size watermelon? A delicious addition to your edible backyard? I will go with the latter.





Do you want a conversation starter for next years garden? Well I recommend growing this amazing little vegetable / fruit called a Mouse Melon (Melothria scabra). In Mexico it is called "sandia ratón" literally "mouse watermelon". It is also known as Mexican sour gherkin, cucamelon, Mexican miniature watermelon, and Mexican sour cucumber. This annual vine produces hundreds of little fruits the size of grapes.








It is native to Mexico and Central America where it is thought to have been in cultivation before western contact. It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The fruit tastes like a lemony cucumber, which is interesting because cucumbers are thought to have originated in India. Most of the Curcurbit family species in the Americas are pumpkins, squash and gourds. Watermelon and melons come from Africa if you want to bring most of the Curcurbit family full circle.








I heard about this awesome little plant on a podcast I listen to. We had a seed swap dinner party a while ago and this was one of the plants we got seed for. You can eat them raw in salads or you can pickle them with your favorite pickle recipe. We are going to play around with cooking them and see what happens. There are not a lot of recipes available for these, so hopefully we can find a new way to eat them. Here is a seed source, I highly recommend growing these in your garden next year.






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