Melothria scabra

Mouse melon
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!

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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