Cucumbers

Sikkim Cucumber Information – More about Sikkim Heritage Cucumbers

Heritage seeds can provide a great window into the enormous diversity of plants and the people who grow them. It can take you far beyond the fresh produce aisle of the traditional grocery store. For example, carrots don’t just come in orange. They come in all the colours of the rainbow. Beans don’t need to stop at just a few centimetres, with some varieties growing up to one or two feet long. And cucumbers don’t settle for the thin green variety. Sikkim heritage cucumbers are very different. Read on to learn more about Sikkim cucumbers.

What is a Sikkim cucumber?

Relic cucumbers from Sikkim are native to the Himalayas and are named after Sikkim, a state in northwest India. The vines are long and vigorous, and the leaves and flowers are much larger than those of the cucumbers you are used to growing.

The fruits are particularly interesting. They can be huge, often weighing 2 or even 3 pounds. On the outside, they look like a cross between a giraffe and a melon, with a hard, dark rust red skin, streaked with cream-coloured cracks. On the inside, however, the taste is unmistakably similar to a cucumber, although stronger than most green varieties.

Growing Sikkim cucumbers in the garden

Growing Sikkim cucumbers is not too difficult. The plants prefer rich, moist soil and should be covered with mulch to preserve moisture.

The vines are vigorous and must be trained or have plenty of room to roam.

Fruits should be harvested when they are 4 to 8 cm long – if you leave them longer, they will become very tough and woody. You can eat the pulp of the fruit raw, pickled or cooked. In Asia, these cucumbers are very popular fried.

Has your interest been aroused? If so, get out and explore the wonderful world of heritage vegetables by growing Sikkim cucumber plants and other heritage varieties in your garden.

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