exceptionally small cucumber or the world’s cutest watermelon?
Melothria scabra, known as 'Cucamelon' or 'Mouse melon' is a tiny melon that has been creating a buzz in the farmer’s markets.
The fruits are small enough to fit into a teaspoon, yet bite into one and the flavour is pure cucumber with a refreshing tinge of lime. Its unique flavour, its pest-free and rampant habit of growth, not to mention its huge productivity, all conspire to recommend this unusual vine to home gardeners looking for something new to add to their menus. These tiny watermelon look-a-likes from Central America have been popular since Aztec times. The vines produce a constant stream of fruit throughout the summer, known as Sandiita or 'little watermelon' in Spanish. Cucamelons can be eaten in exactly the same way as traditional cucumbers - sliced into salads, chopped into salsas or pickled whole like cornichons. Mix whole cucamelons (fresh, blanched or pickled) into a bowl of olives and serve with drinks, or why not go the whole way and spear them with toothpicks and pop them in a martini.
The flavour has been described as 'Cucumber with a bit of watermelon rind and a squeeze of lemon or lime'. This tiny treasure can match the crunch of pretzels and chips.
They are terrific in stir-fries; can be pickled just like French gherkins, eaten raw in salads or pickled. They also can be chopped and added to salsas for extra texture and flavour. A conversation piece in the garden, or as an edible centerpiece at the table.
Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.
Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants, which helps the body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs.
Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits may reduce your risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke and may also protect against certain types of cancer.
Cultivation and Growing Information
Despite their exotic origins and adorable appearance, they are much easier to grow than regular cucumbers. Plant out late March in a heated greenhouse or late May in an unheated greenhouse, or later if growing outside. Plant two plants per growbag or one per large pot. Keep the compost moist, always water around the plant, not the foliage.
The vines are delicate to begin with but soon begin to fill out. Letting them run over the ground is not the best way to cultivate the fruit because this invites slug damage. Support the plants with canes, or a simple bamboo wigwam / frame just like sweet peas, then simply let them ramble and scramble skyward. The Cucamelon plant grows to around 10cm to 15cm (4 to 6in) wide and 1.2m to 1.5m (40 to 50in) tall. It can 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. Growing cucamelons is easy: simply start them indoors the same time you would begin seedlings for cucumbers, and plant them outdoors at exactly the same time. In fact, cucamelons are a little more cool-weather tolerant than most cucumbers, which is an added bonus should you get a late cold spell. The plants are also fairly drought-resistant, more so than cucumbers, they don’t need the cover of a greenhouse, fancy pruning or training techniques and suffer from very few pests.
Guaranteed quality: Sementi Dotto seeds
Sementi Dotto was founded in 1963 as a family-run farm specialized in the field of vegetable seeds and gardening products. SEMENTI DOTTO is present in the hobby sector with a wide range of products for gardening care and with a complete line of products for small pets. In addition, since Sementi Dotto is always heedful to changing market conditions and environmental sensitivity, with “L’Orto Biologico” line it also offers a wide range of vegetable seeds and seeds for sprouts obtained exclusively from organic farming which include the use of agricultural adjuvants not harmful to the environment.
The primary objective of the company is to achieve total quality, entering the market with high-grade products, advanced packaging, cutting-edge logistics services, promotional activities, careful and qualified customer service, efficient internal processes, maintaining the balance of a large organization without sacrificing the traditional quality values for which it is famous.
Net weight sachet: 0.05gr
|| Sementi Dotto