Cucamelons - crunchy treats

 Cucamelons, cute and crunchy on delicate vines.

We started cucamelon plants from seeds in April - a few weeks before the last frost. When the weather warmed up (no more fear of frost) the seedlings went outside to a sunny spot in the garden. The tender vines were tied to bamboo poles for support. Tendrils wrapped around the bamboo as the vines grew.  Cucamelon vines flourish in steady heat, regular watering and sun.

Tiny melons appeared in early August and by the end of the month, they were full size - about 1-1.5 inches long.

These tiny crunchy melons are a fresh, mild treat from the late summer garden. Cute, with a crisp and somewhat sturdy rind, sweet and bright with a refreshing taste. Although fun to grow and eat, cucamelons are more of a novelty vegetable than a garden staple.

Cucamelons are fine for 'straight from the garden' munching in August and September. Anytime of the day, head out to the backyard garden. Eat a few ripe cherry tomatoes - top them off with a cucumelon, fresh from the vine.

Refrigerator cucamelon pickles. Water, vinegar, pickling salt, spices, garlic and chopped hot pepper.

Cucamelon on the vine.
Chop up these little beauties in any fresh dish where you want a little crunch. Greek salad, tabouleh, fresh salsa, cherry tomato salad. Pickle them the easy way - as refrigerator pickles.