MISCELLANEOUS CUCURBITS

 

Angled Luffa- 85 days-  (aka Vining Okra) Use in the young stage as a summer squash substitute.  Matured fruits, when dried, make fair quality sponges.  Trellis vines for best success.  Everyone needs to try this tasty vegetable.  Flavor is excellent and the plants have gorgeous yellow flowers which open at dusk.  Pkt. $2.50  Certified Organic Seed

Bittermelon- 85 days- Gorgeous lime green vines that rapidly cover a trellis.  The fruit is 3 to 4 inches long, very warty and used in oriental dishes.   UNAVAILABLE FOR 2019

Chinese Wintermelon- 80 days-This plant did fabulous in 2018. I plated them in early June and they went crazy with  vigorous growth and many flowers followed by numerous fruits, many weighed 10-15 pounds.  The fruits look like they are covered  with a white powder.  Fruits are used in a special soup. This crop was planted near the poultry pens and I walked by them everyday and with all that was out there I decided I needed to try to find out what makes them special. They do make a great addition to soup . One day I took a  mature fruit and  cut it open and peeled out the seeds and then  removed the  flesh down to the rind and cut it in chunks. It would remind you of a  firm muskmelon in texture.  I cooked a " real chicken", heritage breed and used the broth, removed the meat from the bones added it back to the broth cut up 2 onions, a couple of stalks of celery  added the melon and some garlic, garlic salt and pepper and simmered until the melon became soft. It never got mushy and  formed a full flavored  thick soup that  was absolutely delicious. I am not much of a soup person but   this was tops. I would encourage  everyone to give these a shot. We reduced the price to get you to try it this year.   Pkt. $1.00 Certified Organic Seed

Donkey Melon Citrullus colocynthis - 90 days- This plant is also sometimes called Bitter Apple and the fruit is considered poisonous to eat.  The plant is native to Turkey and Africa.In some places it is cultivated for the oil extracted from the seeds. Clear research should be done before eating any parts of the plant.  Check the internet for research that is being done on this plant for its many uses - one of which is that the fruits are good for keeping moths away from clothes.  Pkt. $1.50  Certified Organic Seed

Jelly Melon- (aka Kiwano, African Horned Melon) - Cucumis metuliferus -  120 days- Thick vines with moderately spiny hand-sized fruits, mottled green turning golden orange.  Inside the melon the seeds are in a lime green, gelatinous capsule.  Fruits routinely sell for $5.00 each in the grocery store.  Flavor is okay, but make a unique decoration.  Our turkeys love them.  Pkt. 1.50 special  price this year we had a huge crop from just a few plants. Certified Organic Seed

Luffa Sponge- 100 days- Dried fruits make excellent sponges.  Trellis the vines for best success.  Pkt. $3.00 UNAVAILABLE FOR 2019 

Pastella- 100 days - Cucurbita ficifolia   Also called Malabar Gourd or Fig leaf gourd.  White flesh  stringy and very moist with black seeds. For years we struggled growing  this thinking it was day length sensitive. Finally I had a thought this year that it tends to grow under other plants in its native area so I planted it between a row of trees and some very tall corn and it thrived in the partial light and produced the biggest,  best and earliest crop ever. All the time I was planting it in full sun to get as much heat to get it to mature and it wanted more shade.  Flesh is used for a “candied confection”.  Pkt. $2.50  Certified Organic Seed

Queen Annes Pocket Melon- 75 days- Grown for  fragrance and beauty, not edibility.  Fruits produce a strong, sweet melon scent that will overpower most odors.  Legend says that in times past, prior to deodorant and frequent bathing, people carried them in their pockets to help them smell better.  They are not poisonous; they just don’t taste as wonderful as they smell.  Fruit is large duck egg in size and orange in color with darker striping.  Pkt. $2.00  Certified Organic Seed

Small Prickles- Cucumis anguria  - 85 days- Looks like an overgrown, tennis ball sized, “Koosh” ball.  Prickles are not sharp.  Very productive and ornamental.  Stays in good shape for a long time.  Pkt. $1.50  Certified Organic Seed

Chinese Wintermelon

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Sand Hill Preservation Center

Heirloom Seeds & Poultry

1878 230th Street

Calamus, IA 52729

563-246-2299

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