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  • #16
    I am not familiar with Caigua, I think it is a generic term for Achocha. I know of three different varieties. Two smaller ones, the Lady's slipper and the Fat Baby. They are quite different from each other even the leaves look different. Then we got Giant Bolivian which is a really big version of Lady's Slipper. Of all of them Fat Baby is the best adapted and starts producing earlier than the others. However my Giant Bolivian is already flowering, which is really surprising, given how late they were last year. I have the plant inside the greenhouse next to the door and will direct it outside soon.

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    • #17
      "DIrect it outside".... you may have to ask it nicely if it gets taller than yourserf Seems a strong grower!

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      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes but the stem and sideshoots are very flexible. I will gently bend them outside and this means that the door will close to within one inch, so not much lost. As I leave the doors open anyway to allow air flow to combat blight, it makes no difference. Oh yes it does get taller than a person. But the very bottom footprint isn't so large. The side of the greenhouse I am directing it to is shaded by a fence anyway, so the extra shading should not be too detrimental. But I do remember Betty, (Squash64 on A4A) referring to her achocha-clad greenhouse as a 'cave'. Her achocha had taken over more than one side and started to shade plants inside. We'll see how that works out, last year they were entirely outside where I usually grow them, but I had an earlier start this year. I'll let you know whether it was entirely the wrong thing to do

    • #18
      Originally posted by Hector1 View Post
      Tempted to frow inside poly and grow over path/along a trellis arrangement above me
      They do really well grown inside a poly, it's just the space needed and their rampaging tendencies that becomes the issue.

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      • #19
        Lady's Slipper (small fruited) is sometimes referred to as Caigua, I think Real Seeds call it this too, I've not noticed the name linked to Fat Baby.

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        • #20
          Thanks all...going to risk Fat baby in poly...trailed long a net at ceiling...over path.

          im putting the Giant outside as thought that might be a bit ambitious indoors

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          • #21
            I had a bit of an up and down germinating Fat Baby as I didn't have many seeds left and they were on the old side, plus I had an epic greenhouse overheat killing them and had to start again. Turns out I shouldn't have bothered sowing any, two lovely little plants sprung up in the poly-tunnel! Both are in a good spot and just need an addition a bit of climbing material, how good is that

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            • #22
              Eeek!

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              I started some Fat Baby in a pot indoors and transplanted the few to germinate into pots to grow on. I tipped the remainder of the pot in the polytunnel on the off chance another might germinate. Lol, now what to do!

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              • Jang
                Jang commented
                Editing a comment
                It seems like your poly tunnel just loves to produce Fat Baby seedlings - now and in 2017! A lovely little clutch. Looks like you're heading for a Fat Baby forest.

                I've had a single volunteer pop up in a pot alongside the one I'd potted up which was dying so I'm feeling they're a very co-operative plant.

              • Galina
                Galina commented
                Editing a comment
                That looks a lovely soil in your poly, no wonder all the seeds want to grow there. I am sure you can water then separate quite easily at this stage. The difficulty will be finding homes for them all. But Fat Baby grows fine outside, doesn't need a poly.

              • jayb
                jayb commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not sure quite what to do with them all! They've popped up outside before now too, I think they are more robust than they sometimes let on. It's good you have your little volunteer too, grow little baby.

                Galina, I wish I could take some credit but this poly-tunnel has recently converted to no-dig so you're seeing the mulch. Thanks for the tip, I'll see if I can move/pot them on until I have a plan.

            • #23
              I'm still surprised how slow and delicate the growth of Fat Baby is compared with Bolivian Giant.

              I suppose the names are the giveaway.

              Plants sown on the same day.


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              • Galina
                Galina commented
                Editing a comment
                They are all so delicate at this stage, but they will grow to triffids. And if you stand still to admire them in a couple of months, you might get engulfed before you can step away.

              • Jang
                Jang commented
                Editing a comment
                Does Fat Baby become as triffid-like as BG before too long or does it remain a little more polite?

            • #24
              Seen some Achocha on Ebay- smooth fruited and they refer to it as Achocha Potol Fotol. Is this the same as Giant?

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              • Jang
                Jang commented
                Editing a comment
                Interesting. In fact there are several referred to as Potol. Some smooth and at least one decidedly hairy.
                ‘Potol’ is linked with Bangladesh in about three entries but googling for Bangladeshi Potol leads to a different gourd, Trichosanthes dioica so it’s rather confusing.

              • Galina
                Galina commented
                Editing a comment
                What we do know is that achocha hails from the Andes. So I would not expect a Bangladeshi name as an original name. Could be a generic name for gourd?

              • Jang
                Jang commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, sounds likely.

            • #25
              I was very confused by Bangladeshi name. I wonder if, as you say, a generic term. Am I correct that smooth ones are likely to be Ladys slipper?-thinking of a punt but unclear if Reelseeds Giant differs from these?

              Jang- the wee seedling from your kind envelope is doing well

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              • Galina
                Galina commented
                Editing a comment
                I am sorry if I confused you Hector. The shape of the ones in the photo look like Lady's Slippers, but could equally be some of the giant ones fairly young. There is no scale. This is why Clumsy and I have been photographing them with spoons and the like to show just how giant those fruits are. Lady's Slippers are smaller, both are smooth. Real Seeds variety of Giant had both types of seed. And their fruits look different. Fat Baby achocha is hairy, but the 'hairs' are neither here nor there, they are just as palatable. And now I hope I haven't made it worse and got you even more confused.

            • #26
              No, you haven’t been source of confusion: its an unbuilt trait it was use of Bangladeshi “ name” combined with Andean ref in adverts. I am looking to buy a few seeds to grow more Giant , so suppose only way to narrow is to ask size of fruits and origin of seed?

              spoke to person selling one lot- states seed is Giant
              Last edited by Hector1; 09-05-2020, 13:09.

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              • #27
                I have two Achocha questions.

                * Having grown Fat Baby and Bolivian Giant along the same stretch of fence in a glorious tangle, should I expect them to cross with each other, or is it likely that the seed of each will be true to type?

                * Does anyone have a favourite recipe for achocha. I have found online recipes for achocha jam and achocha chutney which look promising but personal recommendation is always best. I have two large trugs full of the Giant Bolivian, 100+ I should think, asking to have something done with them on the first wet day.

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                • Galina
                  Galina commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I don't know whether they might cross, probably too different. My large one is in the greenhouse (but looks like it will not make it) and my Lady's slipper at the other end of the garden scrambling up an obelisk. Lots of seeds from that. If you have mature large achochas with square seeds, I would love some for another try.

                • Galina
                  Galina commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Recipes. Any dill pickle, any gherkin recipes, and for a sweeter pickle any bread and butter pickle will work with achocha. The initial slicing and salting that some recipes state is shorter or can be omitted, because achocha have far less water in them. Cooking recipes; Halve, deseed and fill with something yummy or something leftover chopped up, cook in the oven or over a slow flame in tomato sauce with cheese on top towards the end of cooking time.

                  Slice for pizza topping .

                  Fry meat, take out of pan and stir fry achocha in the juices (which cleans the pan). At this stage you can also add a few tomatoes from the freezer and maybe some garlic and chili to make an easy sauce. Reheat meat in achocha sauce and serve.
                  Last edited by Galina; 12-11-2020, 13:38.

                • Galina
                  Galina commented
                  Editing a comment
                  More achocha recipes. Slice achocha,, make a basic curry paste in a pan, add achocha and fry, Or start with onion and garlic fried, add achocha slices, top with curry powder and stir fry. Add water and stir for a nice consistency achocha curry. Add tinned drained beans or chick peas or any you have in the freezer, stir to heat through and serve with a fried egg for a veggie meal.

                  My oca rice recipe can also be used with achocha. Slice a couple of giant achochas put into saucepan, add 1 mug of Basmati rice for 3-4 persons, Add 2 mugs of water, salt. Fit lid. Bring to the boil. As soon as rice has absorbed water, take off heat and let finish (lid always on) for another ten minutes.

                  In short, very versatile as a cucumber substitute (also in salad), as a courgette substitute and as a green sliced pepper substitute. Also freezes well.
                  Last edited by Galina; 12-11-2020, 13:31.

              • #28
                Wow, that's great, Galina. Many thanks. More than enough to keep me going.

                Interestingly the round-seeded Bolivian Giant has been hugely more productive than the square seeded - or the Fat Baby. Nearly every one I've picked has had round seeds. Perhaps they're earlier too. Having just reread the thread on Bolivian Giant. I'm very pleased with the size of mine too. Most of them are between 8" and 11".

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                I can certainly find square seeded seed to send though. If the darkest of those shown are viable, then there is plenty to share. Some remain on the plant. I doubt they'll mature to black, but I'll leave them till the last moment

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                • #29
                  Thank you Jang. Interesting about the differences in ripening time between the round seeded and the square seeded giant. Well in the last couple of years the round seeded has produced increasingly well, but I have not grown it here for comparison. Only the square seeded one, which was from JayB and which is struggling with one or two couple inch long fruit that do not get bigger and the whole plant deteriorating after a couple of frosty nips. It could well be that the square seeded giant type is later. I guess you also have the different shapes of the round seeded and the square seeded giant ones that we observed, with the round seeded being fatter and shorter and the square seeded more slender, longer and with a very upturned tip. Those very dark brown nearly black seeds should work. I'd love another try. If that does not work, back to the round seeded ones that seemed to show signs of adaptation. By the way I remember getting Lady's Slipper early on, at least 20 years ago and they were so very late. But now after many generations in UK they adapt better and better. I had fruit from early September on. There is definitely hope for getting earlier achochas over time.

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                  • Jang
                    Jang commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Interesting. I don't think I can observe a difference in shape between round and square seeded. The picture above is of a fruit that I'm assuming has round seeds as it was up that end of the fence. It has more of an upturned tip than is immediately apparent as it's toward the camera. I'll observe more closely tomorrow though.
                    I grew one plant of each and I would say that the round seeded fruit outnumber the square seeded by roughy 10 to 1. There's a huge difference in productivity. Both seed types came from the one packet from Real Seeds.
                    Anyway, square seed (and I have plenty of round seed if anyone would like that!) will be included in your seed circle package. I hope they grow well for you.
                    How different is lady's Slipper from Bolivian Giant and Fat Baby?

                • #30
                  Lady's Slipper is smooth, Fat Baby has soft spikes. Size wise they are similar with Lady's Slipper just marginally longer and also upturned tip. Much smaller than the Giants.

                  I am sure you have seen a plethora of our round seeded photos elsewhere on this forum. Clumsy and my round seeded giant achochas look very similar, but they both came from the same round seeded that Jayb shared seeds with us. Would be nice to see your round seeded ones and compare. Your square seeded one above looks like I expected the square seeded giant achochas to look. Page 8 has good comparison photos that Jayb took to show the differences between square and round seeded mature fruit. https://www.growingfoodsavingseeds.c...-achocha/page8
                  You can see the size of mine fully mature compared to the knife and fork placed on top of them. Clumsy seemed to get a more spikey fruit, my giant achochas from round seeds have always been fully smooth. https://www.growingfoodsavingseeds.c...-achocha/page7

                  It will be interesting to see your shapes Jang and whether you have the same differences in shape or something else entirely.

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