One of the best-tasting and prolific vegetables I’ve had the privilege of trying is the perennial cucumber, also known as the ivy gourd, or most properly as Coccinea grandis.
Apparently, you’re also not allowed to grow it.
Is it just me or is there a conspiracy to make the easiest food crops illegal?
Fortunately, though I don’t have any in my own yard to show off, I did find a patch of it growing behind a gas station somewhere in North Florida:
The flavor of the ivy gourd is delicious. If it wasn’t for having Indian (from India) friends growing up, I would never have discovered this delicious cucumber relative.
They have a tart, almost dill-pickle flavor right off the vine when green – though when they’re red, they’re no longer worth eating.
And get this: they make a fat root beneath the ground that never freezes to death, even up here where I live. Sure as clockwork, I’ve seen those vines pop up on that gas station fence for all the five years I’ve lived in this area.
The ivy gourd is prolific and doesn’t seem to have any real insect problems, unlike it’s annual relatives. Growing cucumbers here is a pain… but these guys are simple, simple, simple.
Fortunately, there are sterile varieties that don’t spread. Or, just get a female plant. Without a male they’ll set fruit but there are no seeds to spread into the forests.
Immigrants grow these things all the time… laws or no laws. Hmm…