Here on the urban homestead you never know what unusual fruit of vegetable will pop up. The resident farmers here love to try out new varieties. Some work and some don’t.
Last weeks cold spell hint touched a few of the remaining summer vegetables. One that had to come down this week was the the cassabanana melon. Even though it was loaded with unripe fruit the cold temperatures weren’t ideal for this tropical heat loving fruit.
So down came the massive vine which practically overran one of our many trellises in the backyard. Now we have over 100lbs of unripe melons and we are scratching our heads about what we can do with them. If they are inedible for human consumption what about our animals?
I searched online ‘are green cassabanana’s edible and came up this this page which said that the green fruits are treated like a vegetable. Hmmm, which kind of vegetable? More like squash I would guess. I figure I am going to have to open one to find out.
Like I said you never know what surprises will pop up around here. Always learning, always experimenting leaves for an interesting life.
Cassabanana Melons grow on a perennial vine up to 50 feet (15 metres) long, that can be started from seeds or cuttings. Some grow the vine as an ornamental. It will climb trees or can be trained on trellises, and can adhere to smooth surfaces.
The vine has leaves up to 1 foot (30 cm) wide, and male and female flowers.
The fruit is 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) long. The thick, hard rind can be orange, yellow, purple, or black. It will be smooth and glossy when ripe.
Inside, the tender, sweet flesh is orange or yellow. At the centre, there is a soft pulp with oval, flat brown seeds about 1/2 inch (1 cm) long and half as wide. The seeds grow in rows the length of the melon.
The fruit has a sweet aroma. It is very fragrant in the house. Some people think it repels moths.
Cassabanana Melon can be eaten raw in slices. Some say it is better with a little sugar.
It can also be cooked and made into preserves such as jam.
When unripe, it is treated as a vegetable.
The most popular use is jam.