Wild Cucumber, Creeping Cucumber: Melothria pendula

Cucumbers are a refreshing, versatile vegetable used in many global cuisines. Unfortunately for many Florida gardeners the common cucumber, Cucumis sativus is a challenge to grow in a low input organic garden. Our pest pressure, heavy rains and high humidity all play havoc on this culinary staple. Fortunately for us humid subtropic growers there are a few excellent alternatives. Melothria pendula, Melothria scabra, and Coccinia grandis are all relatives of the common cucumber with similar taste and uses, although all are miniatures of the standard. The Creeping cucumber, Melothria pendula, is a native of Florida, and the Southeast US, and thrives in our hot, wet, and humid conditions. The sm

AHI DULCE: Perennial Peppers Capsicum chinense, C. baccatum, C. pubescens

To most gardeners in America, peppers are a short lived, tender, annual vegetable crop. Typical bell peppers, jalapenos, and pablanos, belong to the species Capsicum annuum. This common species is also the most diverse in the genus, with as many as a thousand varieties. Most varieties of Capsicum annuum are annuals or biennials and will live from less than one year to two years of age. In many tropical regions of the world, especially South America and the Caribbean, perennial pepper species are widespread and popular in traditional and fusion cuisine. In the sub-tropical food forest perennial peppers are a great partial shade/understory plant and often require very little care, besides harv

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