10 Unusual Vegetables & Fruits I Plan To Grow Next Season (Part 1)

in #homestead5 years ago (edited)

Usually I like to post about strange animals but today, I want to share 10 weird fruits & vegetables which I plan to grow next season. Unfortunately, winter is coming in Greece and since I have yet to make a greenhouse I have to wait a few months until next year.

Hopefully, you will find the plants below interesting enough to give them a try yourself too, if you already haven't:

1. Cucamelons


I first heard of Cucamelons a few months ago by a Mexican friend of mine. As you can see in the photo, they look like tiny watermelons. Scientifically described as Melothria scabra, this plant is a vine originating from Mexico and Central America, where it is called sandiita  which not surprisingly translates to little watermelon.

The grape-sized fruits are edible and taste like cucumbers with a tinge of sourness. I have done some reading on the plant, and it seems that cucamelons are very easy to grow. As long as there is something for them to vine up they are good to go. I think they will do quite well in my garden.

Cucamelons are started from seeds, here's a link to amazon if you want to buy some for cheap. And here's a link to a how to grow guide that covers all the basics you need to know about the plant. Now, to the next plant

2. Ice Cream Banana Tree

So here's a photo of some of my banana trees:

Although I have plenty of them for like 7-8 years now, I haven't eaten a single banana. In case you don't know, bananas need at least 9 months of temperatures above 20 C (68 F) to bear fruits. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Greece. 

But it seems like I might have found a solution for my problem. Let me introduce you to the Ice Cream Banana:


Apparently, this blue variety grows faster and handles cold better than any other variety. It's also said to be one of the most delicious varieties, with many rating this as the best tasting banana

Will it be hardy enough to give me fruits in my garden? Don't know yet, and I won't for like the next 2 years. But this time, I also plan to start a few plants in large pots that I will move inside when cold, to "win" a few extra months. Hopefully, I will manage to eat some self-grown bananas in the future :D 

3. Romanesco broccoli


If you like fractals you will love this broccoli!! Also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower or just Romanesco,  this plant appears to originate from Italy where it has been grown since the 16th century.

When I first saw photos of this a couple weeks ago I was like "this can't be true, it has to be photoshoped"! But apparently I couldn't be more wrong, so it's definitely into my to-grow-next-season list. Here's a link to amazon if you want to grow this  alien-looking brocolli too!

Since its in the same species as  the broccoli and cauliflower, it has the pretty much the same requirements. If you have grown any of the two before, the Romanesco will be no problem for you. When compared to cauliflower, its texture is crunchier, and the flavor is delicate and nutty. 

4. Oca

Oca tubers (credit)

Next on my list of weird plants to grow is the Oca, also known as New Zealand Yams. Scientifically described as Oxalis tuberosa, this is a perennial herbaceous plant mainly grown for its tubers, but the leaves are edible too.

The plant originates from central and southern Andes and was introduced in Europe in 1830  and New Zealand sometime in 1860 as an alternative to potato. According to wikipedia, in order to get a good harvest, the plant requires a long growing season, and is day length dependent, forming tubers when the day length shortens in autumn. I have no idea how it will fare in my country's climate, so I have to wait and see next year :)

Like potatoes, the easiest way to start this plant is from a tuber. They are frost susceptible, so better plant them when the danger of frost has passed. Here's a link to amazon to check for any of you that might got interested in this plant.

In case you wonder how it tastes, the short answer is like a “lemony potato” or “potato with sour cream.”.

5.  Cape gooseberry 

Ripe cape gooseberries, (credit)

Scientifically described as Physalis peruviana, this plant originates from Peru and has been introduced to England and other countries since the late 18th century.

As you can see in the photo above, this is a very unique plant, producing berries inside paper-like lanterns.  Since it's a member of the plant family Solanaceae, it is related to tomatoes, potatoes and especially tomatillos. The fruit inside the lantern is a smooth spherical berry,  that looks somewhat like a small tomato.

Immature fruit in green calyx (credit)

The two main ways to start a plant is with seeds and cuttings. As for taste, "they are not very sweet; they have a ripe, earthy taste that does indeed remind us just a little of a tomato."

I couldn't find much info on the ideal conditions for growing this plant, so again I don't know how well it grow in my area. Hopefully all will go well. I can't wait to unwrap some out of their little paper latern! :D

The End (For Now!)

So, this post is getting a bit big (at least for steemit standards! ) so I have decided to split it into two parts. I will release the next one in a couple of days so stay tuned if you liked what you saw :)

In the meantime, why don't you throw me some other weird plant suggestions in the comments down below? Maybe my list will grow larger!

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I love number 1 but how the taste of number 5 i never taste before...thanks @trumpman

Just found you through your post on Map. I am growing the icecream banana and it is delicious. Also growing the cape gooseberry. Like it a lot as well! I usually just go to the bush and start eating. Just make sure they are really ripe :)
Following you :) and of course, you got my vote...
The Hawaiian poha is a cousin of the cape gooseberry and is orange and a bit bigger. Also, I just wrote about Buddha's hand - that is a bit of an unusual fruit :)

Oh, you can't imagine how jealous I am of you! Thanks for the comment, will check your post now!

You will grow all of this next year!!! I am pretty sure that our climate zones are very similar. And I am sure you have some cool stuff growing I don't even know about :)

I have seen thousand of cape gooseberry plant before never think it was edible. Honestly I think these plant is harmful, instead of harvesting its little fruit, I destroyed it. How stupid am I wasting a food.

It's ok, now you know :p

yes... thank you!

Either you tell me right now where I can get a banana tree that will give me ice cream, or you my friend are guilty of bait and switch, and also a broken heart in this here reader.

Edit: I noticed there's a whale humping a sign in your comment section. You might wanna flag that.

I don't know if you are serious about the flag thing, it's just the logo of buildawhale an upcoting bot service. I agree it's ridiculous but I love it 😂😂😂😂

Lol, NOT serious!

thank god XD

nice post and interesting selection. looking forward to hearing how your plants have done next season (not to mention if there is any sign of a greenhouse)...

Thanks for the comment. You will, I plan to start making more gardening related posts once the new season starts 😁

Ενδιαφέρον άρθρο!
Έχεις παραγγείλει σπόρους από αυτά τα φυτά;
Τα δύο πρώτα με ενδιαφέρουν.
Κι εμείς έχουμε μπανανιές, δένουν μπανάνες αλλά ποτέ δεν προλαβαίνουν να κιτρινίσουν.

αυτο ειχα πάθει περσι. Με το που πήγαν να δέσουν έπιασε κρύο και κάηκε αυτό το μαστάρι που βγαίνουν τα φρούτα. Έχω βρει σπόρους από πολλά μέρη. Όταν αγοράσω αν θες σου στέλνω και εσένα :) (τσάμπα) μπανάνα λίγο δύσκολο προφανώς γιατί δεν είναι από σπόρο ;)

Αν ποτέ προλάβουν να δέσουν κανονικά κόβεις από κάτω το μαστάρι κι αν δεις να έρχεται παγετός κόβεις όλο το τσαμπί και το βάζεις σε ζεστό χώρο να ωριμάσουν. Μια χρονιά κατάφεραν να ωριμάσουν με αυτόν τον τρόπο αλλά δεν ήταν γευστικές.
Μπορούμε να ανταλλάξουμε σπόρους, δοκιμάζω με την αδερφή μου διάφορα παράξενα φυτά όπως το dragon fruit.

εννοείται, θα μιλήσουμε στο fb αμα είναι :D

I found some plants with those lantern things on the side of an old country road a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea what they were, but now I have a place to start. Also making a note on those bananas! RESTEEMED!

Glad my post was some of use :D Yes, you might have found a wild variety of Cape gooseberry or some other closely related plant. How big were they ? Cape gooseberries are pretty small, here's another photo for you to have an idea:

Those are some pretty cool fruits, I've never seen before. I know the common day banana has been greatly modified from what it originally was, which was full of seeds and a different taste. cool, interesting article.

Cucamelons sound interesting.
I found oca on the supermarket here a few years ago and planted aome in the garden. It tasted ok but most of the family were not that keen on it so we stoped growing it.

Ευχαριστώ για τις προτάσεις και καλή επιτυχία!

interesting post ... I have upvote yes ... and also have followed you.

Oh my god! Brocoli in the shape of existence!

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so do I win something? I guess not so stop

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Is that a whale humping a sign?


interesting post ... I have upvote yes ... and also have followed you

As a follower of @followforupvotes this post has been randomly selected and upvoted! Enjoy your upvote and have a great day!

This is so cool! My grandma also has her own homegrown goodies (in her case is mostly different kinds of chilly peppers, cherry tomatoes and tiny clementines), and it is a dream of mine to have a vegetable/fruit garden like that in the future.

I am especially curious about those tiny melons... never seen them before!

As I read your post, I was scratching my head with the Ice Cream Bananas... but then everything melted away! There was no longer a post, no trumpman, no steemit, no computer... the only thing that remained was the BROCOLLI, and your question "if you love fractals"...

Well, I love fractals, and my blog is the best proof of that -- I also love brocolli. And now I have the opportunity to MERGE the two things I love, it will be like neutron stars merging, exploding with unique tastes and shapes!

Thank you!

Some of these vegetable or fruits I have never tried before. Have seen at the store or farmers market. Those tubers are a bit unattractive but if you are hungry ..... that's when they are most appreciated! Thanks for posting .🐓🐓

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