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close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
Open this folder and view contents5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
Open this folder and view contents12: Seeds and germplasm
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
close this folder28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
View the documentA few alternate seed sources that we commonly use
View the documentAmaranth - grain and vegetable
Open this folder and view contentsArid region farming primer
View the documentCitrus propagation and rootstocks
Open this folder and view contentsCucurbit seeds
Open this folder and view contentsDry farming
View the documentMuscovy ducks for png villages
View the documentFruit crops
View the documentFruit vegetables
View the documentGrain crops
View the documentGround covers and green manures
View the documentGreen manure crops
View the documentIndustrial crops
View the documentThe lablab bean as green manure
View the documentLeafy vegetables
View the documentLeguminous vegetables
View the documentThe moringa tree
View the documentRecipes to learn to eat moringa
View the documentMiscellaneous vegetables
View the documentThe poor man's plow
View the documentPulses (grain legumes)
View the documentRabbit raising in the tropics
View the documentLetter from fremont regier, mennonite central committee, Botswana (and earlier in Zaire)
View the documentRoots and tubers
View the documentSunnhemp as a green manure
View the documentThe sweet potato
View the documentTropical pasture and feed crops
View the documentThe velvet bean as green manure
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm

Fruit vegetables

Crops in the category of fruit vegetables are a group of species almost entirely from two families, Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae, which have little in common except that they are fruits. Most are of modest nutritional value, but all contain useful dietary fiber. Few are highly valuable as fruit vegetables, including the tropical pumpkin, the pepper, and the tomato. Others could be exploited for their seeds, which are especially rich in proteins and oils. However, others contain poisonous seeds (e.g., Luffa). Some produce edible leaves or shoot tips. Some species, especially tomato and pepper, are used as condiments and may contribute useful amounts of nutrients to the diet in this form. Some may have one or many improved varieties, which should be compared to local varieties for best results.

See A Comparison of Fruit Vegetables

• Achuffa (Pepino de Comer).Cyclanthera edulis. Fruits like hollow cucumber, may also be stuffed before cooking or pickling. Temporarily out of stock.

• Bottle gourd.Lagenaria siceraria. (Calabash or Birdhouse gourd). Edible only when very small. (EDN 8-3). Gourds used as containers/vessels; very prolific in subtropics. Buffalo gourd. Cucurbita foetidissima. Roots used for firewood; seed rich in oil and protein; requires long periods of warm dry weather; edible oil made from crushed seeds; native Americans used fruit, pulp, and vines as soap.

• Cucuzzi (Italian squash).Lagenaria sp. Does well in very hot weather; fruits harvested when 18" long; can be used as a container when dried.

• Eggplant.Solanum melongena. Selected varieties of purple, white and striped available. (EDN 14-4).

• Loofah (sponge gourd). Luffa acutangula. Preferred as a vegetable; ridged fruit eaten when young. Luffa cylindrica. Smooth fruit, edible when young. Both species are vigorous climbing vines. Seeds toxic.

• Okra. Hibiscus esculenta. African type; likes the hot weather, but will produce in winter, unlike most okras.

• Pepper, Ensalada. Capsicum chinense. Perennial; produces small fruits that are usually not hot but have the taste and smell of hot peppers. Leaves can be cooked like spinach. Also available is Capsicum frutescens.

• Pumpkin. Cucurbita moschata. Tropical or Calabaza varieties: La Primera, Brian, CBDE, Trinidad, and Tropical mix. Seminole varieties: Acorn, Ingram Billie, Hardy, and Seminole mix. Vigorous, productive vines. (EDN 8-3, 18-2, 37-3).

• Snake gourd. Trichosanthes cucumerina. Young fruits eaten cooked; climbing vine.

• Tamarillo or Tree tomato.Cyphomandra betacea. Red Andean fruits used raw, in juice or jams. Requires high altitudes. Low-germination seeds available only.

• Tomato. Lycopersicon esculentum. Varieties with high vitamin A: Alcobaca-Beta (in breeding, its hybrids have high betas and extended shelf life), Floradade-Beta, Kewalo-Beta. Disease-resistant varieties offered individually or as a variety trial: Hayslip, Florida MH1, Tropic, Walter, Floradade. Others (can bear in summer): Open-pollinated-Matlinka, Saladette; Hybrids-Solar Set, Heatwave: not very disease-resistant but are able to set fruit at higher temperatures. Seed cannot be saved, as they are hybrids. (EDN 24-1, 32-1, 36-4).

• Wax gourd or Chinese wintermelon. Benincasa hispida. Best cucurbit for seed oil in hot humid tropics; flesh eaten as a summer squash; the fruit can be stored for many months. (EDN 2-5, 8-3).

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