What unusual vegetables should I grow that I've never heard of?


All good, Luis! Your air potato keeps growing, by the way. It’s shaping up to be a big one!

Caigua looks like it might be suited to stuffing. I might look into growing it, and maybe seek out some recipes.


Mine are medium size too. Those big ones are used in Peru to stuff with meat…


Thank you my friend! Yes you should grow it!


Ok, chia update.
(" Wasn’t Heartland Chia heat treating all seeds sold so they couldn’t be grown ? Or was that a different company?")

Well I got seed from Heartland , and …
My chia pet will need a hair cut soon😀 , they are sprouting !
So Ky. Grown northern strain lives!


Nice! That’s good to know. I’m definitely curious how that turns out, and what the harvest process is like on a home scale.


Anybody grow hulless pumpkins? The seeds are really tasty, but a lot of work to clean and dry, bigger than the pumpkin seeds typically found in trail mixes. They look cool anyway, at least Styrian does with green stripes.


I have grown Kakai pumpkins in the past. I did not fertilize the pumpkins so I did not get many as a result. The seeds that I did get were very good. However, one thing that I learned by accident is that they do not store well as a pumpkin. When mature, get your seeds out and store them as seeds (or eat them immediately). The pumpkins have a very high oil content and will turn rancid pretty quickly. The smell of these pumpkins (barely) rotting is really nasty.


I grew hulless pumpkins a few years .
The plants got mildew on the leafs early . Yield not large.
A lot of work for the seeds as I remember


They are crunchy and somewhat sour. Kind of like slightly sour celery. Pretty good I thought. Doesn’t always overwinter here.
John S


I was answering what oca tastes like.
John S


I forgot to take a pic during the daytime, but my “Ora Pro Nobis” (Pereskia aculeata) is finally putting out some fast growth after years of slow development.

I like to put potatoes into my Lipton chicken soup (I think that’s common?). So today, I made “Potato-free” Potato chicken soup! I gathered a portion of my Potato Mint harvest (Hausa Potato, Plectranthus rotundifolius), cleaned up even the tiniest tubers (some were smaller than peas), and I boiled 'em up with a young Air Potato and some Madeira Vine bulbils in one change of water, before adding the noodles. The water didn’t turn as dark the second time, but regardless, there was no bitterness nor off flavors… Just great, wholesome “Potato” soup! Yummy!


As you can see, I like my soup extra thick… More of a sauce than a broth.

I also fried up a few Madeira Vine bulbils, like I’ve been meaning to do for the past year. And it was great! Just like homemade french fries, but without peeling or cutting, just fried 'em up whole. It helps that they were small, young bulbils, I think.

A pic, with visible Plantain fritters in the background (I love Tostones!):


Here there are some madeira vine recipes… :yum:


Thanks for the recipes, Luis! I had been frustrated when I first looked into Madeira Vine, because despite being touted as an edible root, I couldn’t find a single source that mentioned if the bulbils were edible. It was maddening! I eventually found one that claimed so in passing, and I latched onto that for an excuse to eat them, and my suspicions were confirmed… Perfectly edible and wholesome. But your links have recipes… I should’ve known all I had to do was search in Portuguese. It’s a Brazilian native, after all. :slight_smile:


Yes, you should search as: caruru do reino receitas… :smile:


Caesar, to what zone is this plant hardy?
John S



Which one?

Ora-pro-nobis (Pereskia aculeata, not pictured in my post) is hardy to zone 9, but readily grown in containers in cooler climes.

Hausa Potato / Potato Mint (Plectranthus rotundifolius, the “potato” that dominates the post) is hardy to zone 8, at least. It likes it somewhat dry on first sprouting, but prefers increasingly moist conditions as the season progresses. Harvest time is when the plant dies back, usually after flowering.

Basell Potato / Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia, the funky looking bulbils) are outdoor hardy to zone 8, but it can be grown as an annual in cooler climates, propagated by tubers or bulbils.

Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) is outdoor hardy to zone 7, but can also be grown as an annual like Madeira Vine.


I’m late getting in on this discussion, but saw elm samaras mentioned earlier…Rock elm, Ulmus thomasii, produces large(for an elm) seeds that reputedly taste like hazelnuts.


Thanks Caesar. That’s great info. Each of us can try to figure out what is likely to survive in our situation.
John S


I know your post is from a long time ago, but I’m curious how your snake gourds weird out. I’m in a warmer area, so I hope that helps, but I’ll probably start a few as early as possible. I’m also trying the Kikinda competition edible gourds from Baker Creek as well.


The snake gourds were great. They took a little while to get going, but once they did they were solid producers that made a lot of very tasty vegetables. Like the Baker Creek description said, they taste a lot like green beans. I sautéed them with tomatoes and garlic pretty regularly over the summer and fall. I also saved seeds to grow in 2020.