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!
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!