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Cuthbert’s Offspring

Cuthbert's first cucmelon fruit

Cuthbert’s first cucumelon fruit

Cuthbert the cucumelon has been growing like mad, and producing hundreds of little proto-fruit about 1cm long with small yellow flowers on the end, like the one at the top left of the photo above. These then develop into small grape-sized fruits that look very like a small watermelon, as you can see. The trick has been to leave the porch door open for a few hours over the weekends to encourage insects to come in to pollinate the flowers. Since a couple of hoverflies took up residence in the porch, Cuthbert has started setting fruit pretty much non-stop.

This first fruit ripened over the weekend, so I picked it and tried tasting it. I can report that it tastes very like a cucumber, but a little bit “zingy”. It’s actually rather pleasanter than I was expecting, and I will be quite happy to eat the fruits in a salad. I’m expecting quite a good crop – there must be several dozen ripening away at the moment, and the potential for dozens more. But Cuthbert has got so huge that I’m going to have to get the step-ladder out to harvest him!