This page is an open source resource guide for achochas. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable achocha selection possible. It contains cultural considerations, planting guidelines, descriptions, and the best places we’ve found for purchasing the species we’ve listed. As part of the One Community Highest Good food component of global transformation, this page will continue to evolve indefinitely to contain maintenance and care tips, accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model, and even recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property.
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Achocha / Bolivian Cucumber (Cyclanthera pedata)
||Achocha, also called caigua or the Bolivian Cucumber, is a vining species of cucurbit native to frost-free inter-Andean valleys from Colombia to Bolivia. It has been cultivated there since antiquity; the fruits have been depicted on Moche pottery many centuries old. The pointed fruits are eaten raw or cooked, and their hollow center is often stuffed with a mixture of grains, meat and cheese. The fruits have been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol when eaten on a regular basis.
- The plants are intolerant of frost
- The vines do best with some support
- Seedlings begin to bear 45 days from transplanting
- Caigua does best with rich soil and steady moisture
- Light feeding during the season keeps vines productive
Tender annuals, achocha plants are easily grown from seed in much the same way as beans – they can be sown directly into the soil once the danger of frost has passed, or started indoors in pots and later planted out. Early in the season, achocha vines will produce mostly leaves, so a foliage-based fertilizer used at the time of planting is beneficial. Snail and slug damage is also a concern for young plants. Also, around July, a fertilizer balanced for fruit production can be helpful.
VIDEO COMING: Planting tutorial followed by time lapse growth videos
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Wikipedia – Caigua
No achocha varieties have been selected at this time. We will post them as soon as they come available.
OTHER ACHOCHA RESOURCES
We are seeking awesome achocha resources. If you know of one, please click here to share it with us so we can make this page better.
ACHOCHAS AS PART OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN MODEL
This section will evolve to include accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model.
ACHOCHA PREPARATION, PRESERVATION, AND RECIPES
This section will evolve to include testimonials, recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property first, and then later with additional information from other Highest Good collaborators and teacher/demonstration hubs.
Achocha with Sweet Red Peppers
Recipe courtesy of: The Gardener’s Pantry
|Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 15 min
|Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped (1.5 tablespoons)
- ½ to 1 cup sweet red pepper strips
- 1 pound or six cups of achoca halves, scooped free of seeds and pits
- 1 teaspoon or more Sriracha sauce
With any stir fry it is best to have all the prep work done before cooking begins.
- Scoop out any loose material and seeds from the Achocha halves. Dried mature seeds may be used in a future garden.
- Heat skillet, when hot add garlic and in a few seconds add pepper strips.
- Lastly, add Achocha halves and stir and turn until they are softened – about 5 minutes. If they are not yet tender cook for another one or two minutes.
- Add Sriracha sauce and salt to taste. This amount of Sriracha gives a spicy but not overpowering amount of heat but taste your way to your own preference.
Recipe courtesy of: What’s Cooking in Bolivia
|Total Time: 50 min(?)
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min
|Yield: 4 Servings
- 6-8 stuffing cucumbers
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 of a medium green pepper
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small tomato
- 1 cup of cooked meat
substitute/tofu, or 1 cooked soy burger
- 2 Tbsp of butter
- 1-2 Tbsp of flour
- 1 cup of cold milk
- 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- Split the Achocha with a knife to remove the seeds without completely cutting in half (so you can stuff it later). Place in the oven at 375° F for about 20 minutes or until the Achocha has flattened from being cooked all the way.
- Dice all the vegetables and start sauteing them, with the exception of the tomato, in a pan in a little bit of olive oil. Just before the veggies are finished, turn off the stove.
- Chop up the meat substitute or soy burger and quickly saute with the tomatoes. When the soy burger and tomato is ready, add to the veggies and heat everything up together.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the sauce, start with a basic roux (or rue). For the amount of sauce we needed, we used the quantity of ingredients mentioned above.
- On medium heat melt the butter. Once melted sift in the flour and mix until there are no clumps and it becomes a paste.
- Continue stirring until the paste is tan to brown, but be sure not to burn it.
- Add in cold milk and stir well to dissolve all clumps. Make sure the mixture heats up slowly. Simmer for a few minutes while continuously stirring, or until the mixture thickens. Turn OFF the heat.
- Add in the cheddar and continuously stir until you have a smooth creamy mixture. If the cheese wont melt, put the mixture back on very low heat until it does melt. If your cheese sauce project fails, here are some tips: http://allrecipes.com/howto/cheese-sauce-made-easy/
To assemble, take one roasted Achocha, stuff with the veggie and soy mixture. Top with about a table spoon of cheese sauce. It will be delicious and light. You will want more. If you are feeling generous, make this easy dish for your friends and ‘wow’ them with your knowledge of international cuisine!
Achocha Stuffed with Greek Dilly Yogurt
Recipe courtesy of: Appalachian Feet
|Total Time: 15 min
Prep: 15 min
|Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 6 or more mature achocha fruits, hollow but still green and tender, sliced in half & seeds removed
- 1/2 cup diced immature (solid) achocha fruits or regular cucumber
- 1 cup diced tomatoes, drained of excess fluid (optional)
- 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp minced fresh dill (reserve a pinch for garnish)
- Combine the yogurt with the diced immature achocha (or cucumber), lemon juice, dill, and optional tomatoes and/or garlic. Stir gently until well mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into the center of the hollow, mature achocha halves.
- Garnish with reserved dill.
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