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5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:
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I bought these BECAUSE of the great review detailing the jelly-like mature gourds beloved by her chickens. I planted a lot. Eventually, two sprouted, and off they went. The flowers are entrancing. I wish I could sketch them; they're small white stars with long white hairs extending outwards. I thought things were moving along toward the delicious immature gourds and/or the weird red jelly stages. But no. No insect seems to know that those white stars are flowers and need pollination. We've got plenty of bees, which succumb daily to the delights found in the Chiang Shin Winter Melon flowers (what a love affair). But the little white stars are ignored week after week -- so no red jelly for my chickens. We really do need more info when we buy unusual seeds like these!
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42 out of 42 people found the following review helpful:
This is not a reveiw, but information on snake gourd that I hope will be extremely useful. First, THIS IS NOT A MELON!!!! Don't go waiting for this to get ripe! This is actually a GOURD that is eaten at an immature stage. As for use as food, I am Indian and i should know, I eat this every week. DELICIOUS! Mother Earth News has a decent recipe on how to cook this. In another reveiw it was mentioned that the seeds had gotten very big, and then that the person had let the gourds get more mature. BIG MISTAKE! That meant that the gourds ere already too ripe. Let them go further, and they will turn red and disintegrate, when you can collect the seeds. The gourd should have been picked EARLIER,at a more immature stage, for eating. as for germination, snake gourd has an inheritently lower germination. Even the best seeds cant get you more than 60 percent germination when direct sown, and even then sprouting over two months. This is due to a thick shell aroiund the seeds. It is recomended that you scratch the seed before starting INDOORS for optimal growth. This is best planted on a six foot tall trellis as the gourds should not touch the ground. In India, rocks are tied to the bottom of the gourd so that they grow straight, therefore making them easier to cut during cooking. On a side note, snake gourd flowers really look awesome. they bloom at night, but see if you can take a peek at some. I hope this helps
4 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:
I thought I was going to absolutely LOVE this melon. I planted the seeds and they came up with no problems. The plants took off and out grew a 12 foot long by 8 foot high series of connected teepees, then wandered over into my poona kherra cucumbers, beans and white cushaw squash. I finally had to resort to tying strings from the vines to trees so they could continue growing up through the branches. Then, they produced (and still are producing as of 27 September) a ton of incredibly snakelike melons (with a slightly greasy, peanuty-smelling oil over the outside - really strange, and strong but not unpleasant). I couldn't wait to try them so I sliced one when it was about an inch in diameter and about 10 inches long. It was almost hollow and had huge hard seeds surounded by scant, pithy flesh. What a disappointment! I waited to see what would happen when they were more mature. Same thing, only the seeds were bigger and harder. Then they began to turn orange red and soft all over - as if they had a weird fungus. I opened one up to discover brilliant red seeds covered in brilliant red stringy jello-like stuff. It smelled strange and tasted between totally bland and just plain disgusting. I threw it to the chickens (who loved it). So I have about a million pounds of long, snakelike melons slowly turning into red goo that only chickens will eat.To be fair, I'd give this a 5 for growth and interest, but for usefullness in a productive FOOD garden, its a definite 1. If you have chickens though, and want something a bit different (and probably healthy - though I have no way of knowing) to add to their diet, you might try it. For those wanting a truly productive and edible cucumber variety, go with Poona Kherra. It can get to huge proportions without EVER becoming bitter, and you will get so many cucumbers you will still be eating last year's pickles while you are harvesting bushels of fresh cukes!It would be helpful, I think, if there was more information on how to use these strange melons, as they were not at all what I expected. I am not at all averse to new things, and grow many odd varieties every year, but I would appreciate knowing how to cook or otherwise use them before I buy.