CUCURBITACEAE, The Squash family
When I last visited Hannah in April the back yard of her new house was all lawn. Today I glimpsed it out an upstairs window as I toured the renovations and was surprised to see a whole garden. She plowed up the whole thing, luckily her new son likes to be in the garden too. She’s growing many varieties of heirloom tomato, broccoli and radishes, a giant pumpkin, peppers and eggplants, winter squash and zucchini. There are marigolds and cosmos tucked here and there, and a border of herbs near the house, including lemon grass, lemon verbena, lemon balm and lemon basil.
In the middle of all this late summer Minnesota glory was a plant I didn’t recognize. A small double trellis held up a sprawl of vigorous light green leaves with petite tendrils. Among the vines were 1-inch long striped fruits.
Hannah told me they are Mouse melons, or Mexican sour gherkins, which are great in salads. I tried some and they are crunchy and moist, like a tiny cucumber with a bit of tanginess. It is an annual vine that likes sun and regular water. I’d love to grow these next year!