It’s been our dream to be able to have/own the land and plant a giant garden and this year we did just that! So for a first time gardener, there seem to be a lot of pitfalls. I learned long ago that if you want to learn to do something, find someone who already does it well and learn as much as you can from them. That is what I did. Over the last couple of years, I have been learning as much as possible from a couple of individuals who have wonderful gardens. (John Kohler on Youtube and Travis Hughey at MyAquaFarm.com)
John Kohler talked in one of his videos about Achocha Cucumbers, also sometimes called Fat Baby or Bolivian Cucumbers. I was intrigued. So I set out on a quest to find these seeds and give them a go. I ran into dead end after dead end. I could not find this exact variety online anywhere. There were a number of varieties of Achocha Cucumbers, but not the FAT BABY Cyclanthera brachystacha variety. I wanted that variety with the spikes all over it.
Finally! I found someone online with her own blog in the UK and she had grown these a couple of years before. And amazingly she had some seeds from 2011! Her blog is called the Urban Veg Patch. I started the seeds indoors around February and I think I have about a 95 or greater germination rate with them. Amazing! This spring I transplanted them outdoors, after the danger of frost was over. They seemed slow to get started, but they took off as the temperatures began to increase.
During the winter, we began construction on a cedar post arbor that would be specifically for the Achocha Fat Babies that I was trying to obtain. I had the arbor construction almost complete before we even found someone with seeds! Caro over at Urban Veg Patch graciously sent me a packet along with plenty of well wishes on the future success of our cucumbers!
It’s June 25th and yesterday we spotted our first achochas coming in on the vine! How exciting! Our plan is to can and pickle as much of these as possible. There are a total of 5 vines going around the arbor. I hope to eat a bunch of them raw too and even enter these peculiar fruits into the county fair, where I seriously doubt that anyone in this county has ever seen one before.
I’ll keep you updated on the Achocha harvest in the weeks to come!