Vegetables to Grow.
The strange jelly melon.

When you plant your first garden you usually limit yourself to the things that are easy for growing in a vegetable garden.  Stuff that’s pretty common.

Things like tomatoes and radishes and money.

But as time goes by and you get confident in your gardening skills you start to branch out into things that are little less common.  Things like quinoa and tomatillos and credit cards.

Last year the strange thing I grew was Mouse Melon.  A tiny little thing that looks just like a mouse sized watermelon and tastes like a slightly pickled cucumber.  Great for stir fries and salads.  Or just popping in your mouth as you wander through the garden picking your credit cards.


Mouse Melon 3


Mouse Melon 2


I’ve been so busy this year that I didn’t really give any thought to the strange thing I was going to grow.  What with the kitchen renovation, the only strange thing I was focused on growing was my bank account.

Then last week I went to the mailbox and pulled out an envelope from Linda Craago of Tree & Twig.  I ripped it open to find my strange thing.  She had sent me a  packet of Horned Melon seeds.  Otherwise known as the Jelly Melon. (you can buy your own here)




photo via SeriousEats

The Horned Melon originated in Africa near the Kalahari desert.  The outside is green and horned, turning orange when it’s ripe.

The inside is filled with a chartreuse green jelly that tastes like cucumber at first then blends into an exotic fruit flavour.

But I don’t care what it tastes like.  LOOK at it.


Photo via Fruit Facts

It grows like a vine that you can trellis so it doesn’t take up a ton of space, unless you devote all of your vertical space to growing 24K gold.    So that’s good.  It’s the sort of thing you may just grow once to see what it’s like for the fun of it.   And I really can’t imagine what would be more fun than having a big bowl of these on the kitchen table when people came over.

It’ll look great beside my big bowl of home grown winning lottery tickets.



  1. You actually make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I to
    find this topic to be really one thing which I feel I would by no means understand.
    It seems too complex and very wide for me. I am taking a look ahead in your next post,
    I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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  3. Barbie says:

    It’s beautiful! I want to grow them just to photograph! You could frame that picture! Would look great in my kitchen!

  4. Kristin Ferguson says:

    When I was in culinary school the pastry chef-instructor devoted an hour or two to Unusual Fruits. She said this was a kiwano. It most closely resembles a cucumber, but it is sweet. But my favorite thing was that she didn’t call it a kiwano; she called it Star Trek fruit. Apparently, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, they’d often put a bowl of kiwanos out to look like alien fruit!

  5. annette says:

    I think you need to dedicate an entire post (at least) to growing money, preferably on shrubs as trees take too long to bear….

  6. Gail says:

    I am looking forward to growing anything in the Cleveland area!!! Been so cold and chilly, can;t even get in the garden yet! Kale growing in the house alongside a bucket of green bean vines that I started early!! Have to try the cute little watermelon cukes- adorable!!

  7. Karl Micheal says:

    the small striped watermelon looking fruit are also known as cucamelon. how did yours turn out last year when they produced. how many vines/plants did you grow and how many fruit did each produce? are they indeterminate type fruits/veggies like some tomatoes (growing more fruit as you harvest) or not? thanks in advance for the answers.

  8. Jackie says:

    Aw, Man – —- You can grow money – credit cards – 24k gold & winning lottery tickets in Canada?
    I gotta get me some of that.
    I’m moving next door to you.
    What’s your address so I can call the moving van – TODAY!
    See you soon, Karen.

  9. Ruth says:

    Is the kitchen renovation starting to wear on you Karen? Or maybe it’s just taking a toll on your pocket? Picking credit cards, growing bank account, 24K gold and lottery tickets….. hmmm. I would support your sponsors if I weren’t financially embarrassed myself. :-/

    On another note, Horned Melon sounds really interesting though…

  10. Lynne says:

    I never had much success with the Easter Egg radishes – but Northern Lights swiss chard was the bomb. Nothing like all those tall leafy stalks in rainbow colours. Gorgeous.

    The first “funny” thing I grew was tomatillos. I don’t know whether it was a particularly good summer for them or whether they always grow like that – but they took over my garden. They are like indeterminate tomatoes and they just keep going – looking back I guess I should have staked them like tomatoes. I had tons of them – lovely little green fruits in papery skins – I had so many I had to freeze piles of them. I was making green salsas for months. And that’s not a bad thing.

  11. Sera says:

    Ok but how do you eat it? I bought a passion fruit while on vacation in Hawaii 3 years ago and once I cut it open, it looked about the same. I would have put it in a smoothie but I didn’t have a blender. What else do you do with something so gooey and seedy?

    • Karen says:

      I’m not entirely sure Sera, lol. But from what I gather, you either scoop it out with a spoon and eat it like that or scoop a little out and use it as a condiment/garnish on top of steak or chicken. I think it’s mainly just fun. :) ~ karen

  12. Marion says:

    Just bought those seeds at the store today! Lol!

  13. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    I’m so inspired! I, too, want to find the sources for growing cash, credit cards, winning lottery tickets and gold seeds in my little raised bed garden!!! Thanks for the smiles this morning, happy Thursday!

  14. Laura Watt says:

    mouse melon is adorable! I’m going to have to find some. We’re growing black radishes this year and I’m pretty excited about it.

    • Karen says:

      I love black radishes. They look really cool when they’re sliced. I grew some a year or two ago. I should probably dig out those seeds again. Pink, purple and black radishes. omg. I’m growing a bruise. ~ karen!

  15. I tried to grow those winning lottery tickets in my greenhouse last year but they wouldn’t germinate! I am intrigued by your melons…..oh that didn’t sound right. I mean you grow cool melons…nah forget it. Cheers to good money crops!

  16. Su says:

    horned cucumbers, credit cards, 24k gold and lottery tickets! what a crop :)

  17. Tigersmom says:

    I’m definitely not proficient enough at growing things to try weird things yet. That being said, I would still be very much interested in a link to a source for cash, credit card, winning lottery ticket and gold seeds.

  18. KiwiKat says:

    In New Zealand they are known as Kiwanos and are sold as a cross between the kiwifruit and a cucumber in taste.

  19. Mindy says:

    I wanna try the cucumbers that look like baby watermelon!!!

  20. Laura Bee says:

    The interior of fruits are so often small works of art. I was cutting up an apple for our hamster today & found the star in the center. Should do some printing with my daughter soon.

  21. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    How cool is that?? I would love to taste one! Show us when they are growing please!!

  22. alison says:

    It never occurred to me we could grow those in our Northern climes! I might just have to try this!

    • Karen says:

      If you do want to try it Alison, get your seed now and get it started (if you have grow lights). I don’t know, but imagine it has a long growing season so any head start will help. ~ karen!

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