We grew cucamelons from seed this year. I’d been meaning to grow them since I read about them in James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution when it published and I thought they’d go down a treat with the kids.
I’ll be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed by the flavour. The vines were cute, the fruits were adorable looking but the taste and texture was that of a slightly sour cucumber, so I don’t think I’d bother growing them for taste.
Having said that I will be trying to grow them again next year because when I cleared out the pot I was growing them in to reuse the compost for some cuttings I found…. cucamelon tubers! I hadn’t even realised you could grow cucamelons from tubers, I thought they had to be grown from seed but from the size of these they must have been putting a lot of energy into developing their tubers.
So now of course, I’m going to have to grow them from tubers to see if they crop more heavily in their second year, assuming they survive the winter….
The sight of seedlings lifting their heads up from the soil always fills me with hope. No matter what else is going on, how busy or stressed I am, how many things I have to do, I always feel better for sitting down with some soil and seeds in the evening when the children have gone to bed and sowing some seeds.
Even though I know they take time, I check the pots constantly for any hint of the ever so slightly fuzzy white emerging from the darkness, the shot of green that promises baby leaves. And when they appear it always feels like the best sort of surprise. Flowers are beautiful, but there’s something about the elegance and hopefulness of the tiniest seedling that stirs my heart.
I’ve currently got two boxes full of seed sat in my utility room. Some I’ve bought, some I’ve been given, some I’ve collected. But when they start sprouting I find myself constantly on the lookout for more seeds so I can grow someone the perfect chilli for their cooking, the ideal calendula for their raised bed, the happiest sunflowers to pop in their border, I want to share the joy of those seeds.
So while the stormy winds are making it impossible to get outside, I sit in the conservatory, pretending that I too am soaking up the weak sunlight through the windows watching my seedlings emerge with a cup of tea.