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March Crop Swap- Pepino Melon Starts

Will it be in like a lion or lamb? Either way, our next crop swap should prove to be a treasure trove of late winter crops, and early spring cleaning finds. I expect the usual winter greens, collards, chard, kale, lettuces, and more, a well as the ever present lemon crop. But besides the harvested crops, now is a great time to share starts and cuttings for the upcoming spring planting season.

So, unless the lion appears, and we have a torrential rain storm, I am planning on bringing cuttings and starts from my latest crop discovery, the pepino melon. Not a melon at all, but part of the tomato/potato family, the beautiful purple-striped, egg-shaped fruit of the Pepino Melon is mild and sweet with a flavour reminiscent of cantaloupe. It also grows like crazy and can become a perennial if protected from the frost.

Last winter I rooted a couple cuttings from a plant that Nik Bertulis brought to the annual East Bay scion exchange. The cuttings produced two large bushy plants and many pounds of fruit, with no apparent pests. I have about a dozen cuttings (some already rooted) to give away, so if you would like to try a new exotic fruit (originally from South America and also called Pepino Dulce), come to the March 2nd crop swap and get them while they last.