achocha fat baby

Achocha Cucumber Success!

achocha fat baby2014 is our first attempt by ourselves to really get a garden going. It’s a first year garden at this location and to be honest my family’s first year ever having enough space to really grow whatever we want. As long as Jaimie and I have been married, we either lived in apartments or in houses with not enough yard to grow more than a tomato plant or two.

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

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.

Achocha ArborDuring 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!



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About Zachary Bauer

Zachary lives with his wife, two sons and his wife's parents on An American Homestead deep in the mountains of the American Ozarks. They all moved there together in July of 2013 where they began to build the homestead. They are off-grid with the exception of a phone line.

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  1. Your garden will just get better with time as you follow the nutrient dense principles of soil health. The fertility and productivity will increase and disease and pests will decrease. So be encouraged!!!

  2. Hey Zach, Thanks for the link and I’m really pleased that the Achocha have taken off for you. We’ve had too many slugs in the garden for me to grow these this year although I am trying some cucamelons. These are from South America as well, look like tiny watermelons and taste of cucumbers apparently. I’ll let you know! By the way, as the achocha vines will keep on growing up and up, maybe try pinching out the leader of one of your vines to see if it will bush out and produce more fruit. I haven’t done this myself but it kinda makes sense, especially if you want to produce loads for winter preserving. Good luck!

  3. Hi Zach, I’ve been watching your shows on Youtube. I like all the great stuff your doing there keep up the great work. Loved the shows on Composting and the water bath canning, achochas arbor. If you have a short list of people who want some of those achocha seeds please put me on it, my cost.

  4. Saw your show about the Achocha Cucumbers, You said you have seeds. I’d really like to try growing them. Please let me know how to get some from you.


    Great shows!! still on season one.

  5. I have just started watching your videos. Some great info. I am interested in purchasing some achocha cucumber seeds. I saw a post stating they are on your website for purchase I cannot locate them. Can you please tell me where to find them. Thank you

  6. Hi Zach how do I know when they are ready to harvest? I have about 10 that are the size of a ping pong ball now

  7. I’d also love to know about harvesting these baby fat cukes. I purchased the seeds from you early spring and I’m getting a fair amount here in Michigan. Looking forward to trying them! I read somewhere they are best to pick at about 1″, but interested in Zach’s opinion.

  8. When will you have cucumber seeds available. ?

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