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African horned melon

 
gardener
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Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Several varieties of plants have fell victim to four legged predators this year. Rabbits, squirrels, mice and my collie have really developed a taste for melons. I’ve lost more that thirty plants in the last few months.
Then there’s my African horned melons. Nothing has touched them nor any plant around them. I found out why today. When touching the vine I feel like I’ve stuck my hand in a stinging nettle plant. Holding the fruit gives a similar sensation except the spines hurt even more. This is not a plant to mess with!
I already have guilds established around my fruit trees but I know this one will be fit in next year. I can foresee pears, peaches and pomegranate untouched by squirrels. I don’t think I’ll have to plant many either because the vines stretch far and wide.
Harvesting the fruit trees could be a challenge but it’s worth a one season trial.
9CF3CBAC-F4D8-4010-8DCA-B00D0994D8C2.jpeg
African horned melon.
African horned melon.
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Thank you for sharing.  How do you eat them?

Maybe a better question is how do you pick them and once in the house how do you prepare them?
 
Scott Stiller
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I harvested barehanded because I didn’t know any better. There will definitely be gloves or maybe an oven mitt next time.
I quartered and ate like an orange. The next one will be picked smaller because the seeds were a bit much. There are lots of small fruit on the vines that I plan to pick at different sizes. I hope to find the best size for snacking. When I do I’ll be sure to post.
 
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Location: the mountains of western nc
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i was under the impression that the seeds (or rather the goop around them) were the main goal for these. i’ve only eaten a few and have never grown any.
 
Scott Stiller
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Location: North Carolina zone 7
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The seeds were tough and unappetizing. Attempting to separate flesh from seed wasn’t happening, at least not this one.
Given the plant’s defenses I’m considering planting them throughout my corn patch next year. I’ve lost a lot of corn to mice.
F39D5EFE-E682-4E78-AA4D-ACA1AA648ED2.jpeg
Horned melon
Horned melon
 
Scott Stiller
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Location: North Carolina zone 7
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I harvested twelve pounds from one plant today!
897F08A9-48B8-4C55-A96F-56AC65F20158.jpeg
African horned melon
African horned melon
 
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