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Bolivian Giant Achocha

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  • Saved some seeds so far will have when I use the rest.

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    • Unfortunately only the very dark brown and black ones will germinate, but you have plenty of those too. Thank you for the Keema recipe suggestion.

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      • clumsy
        clumsy commented
        Editing a comment
        I found loads of white seed's which I disregarded and I thought these would be okay to use. But still have loads more achocha to take seeds from, haven't cooked all of them yet.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        I've tried germinating the paler seeds too, sadly they are no shows. But you have some nice dark ones which are great.

    • Got plenty of seeds to share if anybody wants any.

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      • jayb
        jayb commented
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        A fine haul.
        I'm hoping my saved seeds from a couple of years ago will germinate ok next year. If not I'd be grateful for a couple of seeds later on.

      • clumsy
        clumsy commented
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        More than welcome to have the seeds later on.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
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        Thank you.

    • Outer leaves are glassy, time to finish harvesting my achocha plant. We have been eating achocha for weeks, but this was what was left on the plant. All the large fruit seem to have a full house of 14 black seeds. This is the most successful year yet. And the round seeded characteristic is enduring. Every year they are all round seeded without fail and the fruit is far less spikey too than others I have seen. Love these.

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      • Galina
        Galina commented
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        Also plenty to share here.

      • clumsy
        clumsy commented
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        Very impressive harvest. It was a good year for the achocha. The plant is dying back because of the frost. Will try to harvest the small one's soon.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
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        My goodness, they have done so well too! A fab harvest and healthy-looking seeds, job done!

    • I was just checking out my seeds, it seems that the round seed size may have got a little smaller? I'm fairly sure now that there is a linkage between seed style to spikes. I'd be interested in getting some really spiky fruits to compare seeds of spikeys (sp?) at some point.



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      • Galina
        Galina commented
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        It may be no more complicated than being different species within large fruited achochas. Would they even cross? We assume they will but not necessarily. What if they are distantly related like the runnerbean is related to the French bean. Ie barely able to cross at all rather than being two different varieties within the same species that would readily cross. Their tiny flowers are open and visited by insects, so from that point of view they would be able to cross, but if they are different species they may well be too different to do so.

      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        I know of 4. Our round seeded, the angle seeded large spikey one, Then the smaller Fat Baby and lastly Lady's Slipper.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
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        Interesting, I was going on the information from Real Seeds, that the sowed all oblong types and harvested both sorts of seeds. I was guessing a spontaneous mutation was very unlikely and went with the idea of a cross occurring before they were given the seeds. So yes having several types or variances of Giant types is quite believable or indeed cousins.

        I took a picture of the four types I have the other day, I'll look it out.

    • Just to clear my head I went to the plot harvested last of the achocha. It's dying now and the greenhouse on the inside still struggling with the brain what to do. At least it was sunny but cold.

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      • jayb
        jayb commented
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        Looks a lovely sunny day, hope you were able to clear your head some.

      • clumsy
        clumsy commented
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        helped a bit.

    • I came across these pictures from 2017 I took to compare both the round and regular seeded giants.

      Rounded seed plant
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      Regular seed plant

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      • And later the fruits
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        I fancy the regular type generally produces more seed per pod.

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
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          Counting about 18 seeds there. Yes they are different even at seedling stage and definitely later on too. Thanks for the photos. Hope your regular square seed type germinates.

        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          If the square seeded type is that much longer than the smoother round seeded type, just how long do they get? Stretched out they would be well over 8 inches.

        • clumsy
          clumsy commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting to see the difference.

      • I think the ones I've been growing probably hit the 8-inch mark unstretched and I don't know how much longer they could get, I guess with careful selection there would be some scope. One thing I didn't do is weigh the fruits, I fancy our lovely rounded fruits are denser and chubbier so gram for gram?

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
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          The comparison would be good, have not grown the other type.

      • I’m new to growing Achocha and so I’m starting with some fresh Bolivian Giant and Fat Baby from Real Seeds and Giant Round Seeded from jayb. My Bolivian Giant seeds consisted of fairly even numbers of round and squashed fly type seeds.
        In reading through this thread I think I’m gathering that the regular seeds tend to produce offspring with more seeds but the round seeds produce fruit with smoother skin and rounder, denser fruit. Is the general conclusion that the round seeded characteristic is or might be stable over generations and that generally the fruit is lovelier to eat? Or is that an over-simplification. Sorry to be seeking a bit of a summary but it’s not too easy to pick out the salient points when you haven’t yet experienced them. Or perhaps I’m a bit tired!
        Anyway, I thought I’d snap the four types. I guess it’s possible that Real Seeds’s strains might have developed slightly differently from the ones discussed here.

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        • Jang
          Jang commented
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          Interesting. I think you felt that the attempt to improve adaptation had had some success. Presumably Real Seeds have been growing on and selecting, and the seeds they supply now are perhaps better adapted than those they sold a few years ago

          Real Seeds identify Bolivian Giant on the seed packet as Cyclanthera pedata so it seems that they see the round seeded and the regular seeds as variants within the same species. Is Fat Baby the only known representative of Cyclanthera brachystachya?

          Interesting too that the results of at least three growers over a few years should suggest that the round seeds beget more round seeds and that Real Seeds should think otherwise. Perhaps they haven't monitored that in particular.

        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          As far as I understand it, achocha have been known previously to occasionally produce rounded (or at least different) shaped seeds and then revert back to their standard shape when grown out again. Perhaps there are a couple of issues going on which blurs it.

        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Jang as we have grown round seeded achocha in isolation, not together with square seeded, it is quite possible that in a mixed population the square seeded trait could be dominant and the round seeded recessive ............ but of course we would never know if the one seed we started off with was a true breeding round seeded plant and was never grown together with square seeded plants it could have crossed with.

      • Thank you for the square Giant Achocha seeds Jayb. They may be a little older, but one has just germinated. Very delighted about that. Happy dance

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        • Jang
          Jang commented
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          Is it about the right time to be starting Achocha seed then ?

        • Jang
          Jang commented
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          Actually, I went back to the beginning of the thread so think I can answer my own question!

      • Happy dance Giant Achocha seeds have sprouted both Round and Regular types, they are just starting on their first true leaves. I think around 70% germination which is great, I haven't done a proper count and some seeds I discarded have now germinated in the cold greenhouse, now if I'd tried that.
        Also sown smaller slipper and Fat Baby, these are more for seed than anything else as I prefer the giants, though I have a soft spot Fat Baby.

        My plan for the Giants this year, to grow some inside for cropping and some outside for seed saving. Galina inspiring me with her local acclimatizing work.

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        • Jang
          Jang commented
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          Congratulations on your germination success. Great stuff!

          How much support do you find Bolivian Giant and Fat Baby need? Will you grow your outside plants up and over something?

        • jayb
          jayb commented
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          They grab on to pretty much anything and start twining. They are not so weighty as squashes but for the outdoor ones I'm still working it out, I think I'll try them near an old stock fence and they will just have to go along it rather than have something to go up and over. Things may change.

      • I pressed the post button too soon, meant to add, how are your earlier sown ones doing?

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        • I sowed Bolivian Giant and Fat Baby on 31st March. The Bolivian Giant are doing well but Fat Baby much slower and weaker. The BG squashed fly seeds are producing the strongest plants at this stage and beating the BG round seeded by a slight margin. One Fat Baby seedling is particularly struggling rather.


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          • jayb
            jayb commented
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            Your seed leaves look to be showing similar differences that mine did too between the two giant types. Rounded are well rounded and 'squashed fly' are more blocky.

        • This is fascinating. Can I be very cheeky and ask if in some time in future ( when not risky to ask folks to venture out to post) can I try some round seeded ones? Also, how are you using these....cooking wise?

          With regards light sensitivity, how many generations do you think it would tale to see adaptation- if that is possible?

          i wanted to try these in polytunnel, growing along netting along roof space over paths...no idea if feasible, as daughter now has changed floor area as a gym to be able to train in lockdown.

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          • Galina
            Galina commented
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            Happy to send some. Is the address with 'glen' in it still correct?. I have another envelope to post at the end of the week, so gladly send you some 2019 round seeded ones. We ate some last night. I put the surplus in the freezer last year. We had a chicken fillet each and at the end of the cooking time the chicken came out, I put two handfuls of cut up achocha into the pan straight from the freezer, stirred which got all the nice brown meat juices from the bottom of the pan and then finished off with a heaped tablespoon of greek yoghurt. Took the pan off the heat, stirred again and poured over the chicken. It was yummy. I use them like courgettes, but they also stuff very well when used fresh. Deseed, fill with something yummy and let cook in a little liquid in a covered pan. Also works in a slow cooker or in a low oven Young we use them like cucumbers. And they also make great pickles. Substitute for cucumbers.
            Last edited by Galina; 19-04-2020, 08:42.

          • clumsy
            clumsy commented
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            I have spare seeds if you want could post also. You could just chop them and mix with other vegetables you won't notice when mixed in.

          • jayb
            jayb commented
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            I've seeds too, but I think you probably have been sorted!
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