In the Garden: Kerala and cucamelons

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Are you tired of the same old vegetables in your garden year after year? Gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi showed Sharon Meyer some unusual ones you've likely never seen before.

Charlie Nardozzi: I always want to try something new and different. So one of these vines I have here I have grown before. It's called the kerala, or the bitter gourd. It's an Indian vegetable. It's kind of crinkly and curly looking. It grows vertically, but it has a bitter flavor so not a lot of people like it. But I really like it.

Sharon Meyer: You'll eat anything though. We know that.

Charlie Nardozzi: But the one plant I'm really excited about is the cucamelon. This is a Mexican heirloom, it's also called the Mexican sour gherkin, or the mouse melon.

Sharon Meyer: It's not sounding great yet.

Charlie Nardozzi: It tastes like a cucumber, but if you look at the actual fruits, they look like little watermelons. How cute are they!

Charlie Nardozzi: You grow them just like a cucumber, so in a full sun spot with a lot of fertility in the soil. Let them grow up a trellis like this. They'll be a little later than cucumbers, but once they get to about the size of a grape, you just pick them and you eat them. The flavor is kind of like a cucumber with a little tang of lime to them. It's used in salsa. You can spear them and put them in your martini. You can throw them in salads. You can cook with them. They're really kind of cute little vines and fruits and they form a tuber at the end of the season so you can dig up the tuber, store it like a dahlia, and the grow it again next year for you.

Sharon Meyer: So a Mexican plant that likes living in Vermont.

Charlie Nardozzi: Unbelievable. So you, too, can go cuckoo for cucamelons.