Monday, March 31, 2014

Found A Cucumber with Very Sharp Spikes In The Garden

This is how a Kiwano vine looks like
For a while now I've had a big vine growing in a big portion of our garden and I didn't know what it was. But that's nothing new: my grandfather gardened here for decades, and then my father came along and made his mark, then my younger brother came along and now it's my turn.

Add the fact that we're on a downward slope on the edge of the village where many people are keen gardeners ( and rains occassionally wash away some of their seeds my way) near a dam with a bit of forest garden ends up with a lot of sprouting seeds whose origin I can't always vouch for.

Usually this makes gardening a combination of planting and caring for things I do want to grow and waiting out some mystery plants to find out if they do have some uses and if they  do, if I want some of them or someone in the village does. Which is why I let the vine take over a good portion of the garden and start producing fruit. It is very pretty and kept the weeds away, so it was not a hardship.

Anyhoo, on Saturday one of my friends went into the garden and  picked the fruit, peeled them, sprinkled a bit of salt on them and served them to us a raw salad.

How a kiwano fruit looks like
"Try it. It tastes like cucumber," he said. He was right - the flesh looked and tasted like cucumber, but with a touch of melon to it. Not bad, but not fantabulous either.

So..I spent an hour or so today researching the plant and found out that it's called a Horned Melon  or African Horned Cucumber or Kiwano, and that the plant is native to Southern Africa.

I also researched some serving suggestions and liked the ones on Triple Cord Organic Produce.

So the Senne family has a new veggie to try out. So far the looks of the fruit has been very off-putting to some people. In addition to being unknown, the spikes on the body of the veggie are very big and sharp and Nephew says he's not sure getting to eat the flesh is worth the risks.Even calling him a "wuss" wouldn't get him to cut it for me, LOL!

Kiwano cut open

BTW, the A to Z Challenge starts tomorrow. I've scheduled all my gardening posts and I'm now ready to start visiting new people and having some fun.

I'm also going to do some intensive fiction writing - basically pushing myself as if each story installment is a blog post readers are waiting for.


  1. Hi Damaria .. sounds delicious .. I've seen the melons growing in the Khalahari and in the Namib .. what a treat to find .. cheers Hilary