Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Anyone for exploding cucumbers?



This is an Acocha, otherwise known as an exploding cucumber. I bought seeds a couple of years ago, from the Real Seed company, but planted them out a little early last year, and every last plant was caught by the cold and died. This year, with the few remaining seeds, I planted them out later, and this interesting fruit has been the success story of our summer. We even got a second prize at the local agricultural show with them!



Perhaps they are too succesful - the vines are currently rampaging over my fence and into the neighbour's garden, and have almost smothered my ornamantal cherry tree! I am assuming that the first frost will lay waste to them and I don't have to worry about them becoming invasive. In the meantime we are picking masses of fruit daily - more than we can eat. They are scrambling vines, similar to squashes and melons, and the fruits, which grow to about 2 inches long, and are covered in soft spines, are hollow inside. We split them in half, scrape out the seeds, and then use them in cooking in the same sort of way that I would use a green pepper.



So, if anyone lives near me and would like a bowl full, do call in, as we cannot eat nearly this many!




Also, ripening beautifully for the first year ever is this black grape. They may be small, but they are super sweet!



Globe artichokes too ( in fact, just one head - we will have to share!)



Chillies of many varieties, and tumbling tomatoes are ripening in the greenhouse ( no sign of the dreaded blight yet this year - I am crossing my fingers)



And these are the delicious spirits, to warm us up on cold winter nights! Raspberry gin (beautifully delicate flavour, goes down like a fruit cordial!), blackberry rum ( tastes a bit medicinal, this one!), and elderberry gin to ward off the coughs and sniffles.


I may just have to go and sample the raspberry gin right now!

13 comments:

Sonia ;) said...

That garden is amazing Danielle...wow..total envy from Texas....you are blessed.

Smiles

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Your garden looks amazing! I already took down my tomatoes. I love those cucumbers, never heard of them before. The shot of the cat is beautiful too & I really want your skull:)
Take care!

Julie Harward said...

Wow...do they hurt to peel them? I've never seen those before. Loved the picture of the kitty in her nest and the bright red peppers..so pretty! Come check out mt post, ant ideas would be helpful..still learning! :D

Caroline said...

A veritable cornucopia of delights! Lovely photos of all that wonderful fruit, veg and beverages - what green fingers you have. And thanks for introducing the exploding cucumber - had never seen one before!

Karen said...

The exploding cucumber looks and sounds as if it should be in the herbology greenhouse in Harry Potter! :)
It all looks delicious Danielle!
I must get on this weekend and do my liqueurs.
Your cat looks the spitting image of mine. How strange as mine was also in a nest this week!
x

Carol Anne Strange said...

What a fabulous feast, Danielle. You have certainly manifested an abundance of good food this year. Ooh, and I quite like the sound of that raspberry gin! Wonderful. Wishing you well, dear one, as autumn weaves its magic. xx

Julia Guthrie said...

Gosh..if only our Counties were a little closer, I'd be round to help you sample of the goodies! LOL

I'd never heard of the exploding cucumber before! Strange looking plant :)

I'm happy to report that after the summer monsoons that rotted all my courgettes, I now have 2 new ones growing healthily! yay!! That will make a grand total of 3 for my first crop! lol
Ah..it's all fun anyway :)

Coreopsis said...

I LOVE the photos--in all their variety and splendid color. I am ENVIOUS of your garden! Mine is mostly overgrown this year, though the rainbow chard is spectacular, and the red raspberries are making raspberries, even though they're practically buried in vines.

Yarrow said...

Yummy, the gin looks good.

Would you care to trade some seeds? Your spiney cucumber thingy for my wonderful Graziella pumpkin. I have some seeds to spare as I need to make sure this wonderful pumpkin is shared by all. It's French and not many people know about it as it was brought over by a neighbour.

Jessie said...

What an amazing array of produce you have! I'm afraid my green fingers are less green than red and I do admire people who can grow things - AND eat them too! Pity I live a little bit too far away ;)x

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a wonderful garden! Like one of a wizard. I've never seen exploding cucumbers. They look very unlike the ones we have here. I like to eat a bowl of those for lunch. Salted. Could I do that with these?

manila condos said...

This was the first time I saw and read about exploding cucumbers and globe artichokes. The picture on the exploding cucumber and garden looked really good.

Serviced Apartments London Lady said...

The exploding cucumber sounds like something you'd find in Harry Potter or something! Thanks for the little gardening lesson!

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