Wax Gourd/Winter Melon
This page is an open source resource guide for wax gourd/winter melon. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable wax gourd/winter melon 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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WAX GOURD/WINTER MELON
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Wax gourd/Winter melon (Benincasa hispida)
||Benincasa hispida is a monotypic species of vining cucurbit native to Asia, where it is is cultivated for the large melon-like fruits. The fruits have a waxy coating and can be stored for up to a year. The fruit flesh is sweet in immature fruits, but loses sweetness as the fruits ripen. Mature fruits are used in soups and stir-fry dishes.
- The vines like rich humusy soil
- The vigorous vines require support
- Wax gourd requires a long warm growing season
- If sufficient pollinators are not present, hand pollinate
- Harvest fruits for eating early; let storage melons mature
Start seeds early indoors to maximize growing season. Plant out after last frost and when soil has warmed. Row covers, hot caps or polytunnel/hoop house cultivation may be required in cooler climates. Foliar feed with liquid seaweed or fish emulsion during the growing season.
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Wikipedia – Winter Melon
GW#1 :: Giant Wax Gourd
The Giant Wax Gourd is an easy to grow winter melon that lives up to its name by producing 30 to 35 pound gourds. They are blocky and round with a white and waxy layer that forms when ripe. The Giant Wax Gourd thrives in well drained soils and hot temperatures. Its ability to keep for many months off the vine makes it a great winter staple.
GW#2 :: Small Round Winter Melon
The Small Round is also known as a winter melon or white gourd. It grows vigorously and produces prolifically with as many as 16 fruits per plant. Its fruits are green-skinned, fragrant, and flavorful with a firm flesh that will grow to a size of 4″x 7″ and a weight of up to 1.5 pounds.
GW#3 :: Winter Melon Round Winer Melon
The Winter Melon Round is a large melon grown for its thick, white, and sweet flesh. When ripe, the rind is covered with a waxy white coating that protects the fruit for long periods and makes it a great fruit for storage. Ripe fruits average 14-22 lbs.
GW#4 :: Winter Melon Oblong Winter Melon
Winter Melon Oblong is grown for its thick and white melon flesh. The light green skin is covered with very fine hair and will form a white powder when ripe. The vine is very cold tolerant and spreads easily. This wax gourd can reach 20 pounds and 12 inches long and makes a good storage fruit due to the waxy layer that forms over the skin when ripe.
GW#5 :: Winer Melon Giant Bullet Head Wax Melon
A waxy rind helps to preserve this fruit for up to 12 months. The flesh is candied and stuffed into dessert pastries, stewed into hearty winter soups, stir fried and used to fill moon cakes for China’s Autumn Moon Festival. Fruit can weigh up to 75 pounds each. Snow-white flesh and a tastier substitution for zucchini squash.
Wikipedia – Winter Melon
Winter Melon Plant Material/Seed Providers:
Wax Gourd/Winter Melon Purchase Details
||Giant Wax Gourd
||Winter Melon Round
||Winter Melon Oblong
||Giant Bullet Head Wax Melon
OTHER WAX GOURD/WINTER MELON RESOURCES
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WAX GOURD/WINTER MELON 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.
WAX GOURD/WINTER MELON 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.
Ash Gourd Coconut Curry
Recipe courtesy of: Indu’s International Kitchen
|Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min
|Yield: 4 Servings
- 4 ½ cups fresh pineapple, chopped
- 4 cups cucumber
- 3 cups wax gourd
- (Kumbalanga) skin
and cut into small
- 4 small green chillies, cut length-wise (use less if you
don’t want heat)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 & 3/4 cup coconut
milk* – freshly
extracted using grated
coconut (see right)
or canned coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 dry red chillies,
each split into two
- 4-5 fresh curry leaves
- Remove the skin of the wax gourd or kumbalanga and chop into pieces
- Take a medium-size cooking pot and add the kumbalanga pieces in it along with the green chillies, salt, and water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium to low flame for about 5-6 minutes until the kumbalanga pieces are cooked and there is little water left. (You may want to check frequently to see if the kumbalanga pieces have turned soft since we do not want to over cook them as they will turn pulpy). Turn the heat off and set aside.
- Extract the coconut milk (if you are using home-made) as shown below. Take about 1 and 3/4 cup of the milk and add to the pot with the cooked kumbalanga.
- Again start the heat back on and cook on low heat for about 2 minutes or until you see a couple bubbles in the coconut milk mixture. Immediately turn heat off and set aside.
- For the final tadka (oil tempering or garnish), take a small pan or skillet and heat the coconut oil in it. When hot, add the mustard seeds and once they start spluttering, turn heat to low and add the dry red chilly pieces and the curry leaves. Saute on low for about 1 minute more and turn heat off. Add this oil garnish over the cooked pumpkin and coconut milk mixture.
- Enjoy with plain white rice and pickle on the side.
*For the coconut milk extraction:
- Take 1 heaped cup of freshly grated coconut (or fresh frozen grated coconut that has been thawed and is at room temperature).
- Blend this coconut with 1 cup of warm water and strain through a strainer. Again blend the strained extract using another 3/4 cup of warm water to get about 1 and 3/4 cup coconut milk.
Make sure you do not overcook the kumbalanga pieces and make sure there is not much water in the pot before you add the coconut milk so that you get the desired thick consistency of the curry.
There is another variation of this dish, which is mostly similar to this but also additionally uses yoghurt and is called kumbalanga pachadi
Tougan Insta Soup
Recipe courtesy of: Naturally DIY
|Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 20-30 min
|Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 small tougan (wax gourd)
- 1 gobo stalk (burdock)
- Fresh or dried shiitake mushroom
- ½ inch piece of ginger
- 1 leek
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp miso
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 8 cups of water
- 5 umeboshi (pickled plum)
- Bring water to a boil.
- Slice ginger into thin discs and add to water along with black pepper.
- Thinly slice leeks (soak in a bowl of water to remove dirt) and add to pot.
- Peel the gobo stalk, and then use the peeler to make thin strips of gobo and add right into the pot.
- Peel, de-seed and chop tougan, then add to pot along with dried sliced shiitake mushrooms, miso, and soy sauce.
- Remove and discard pits from umeboshi, chop and add to soup.
- Cook for 20-30 minutes or until tougan is translucent. Turn off heat, add cilantro and serve.
Vata – swap the mushrooms for pumpkin and add some chili pepper
Kapha – only use dried shiitake mushrooms, add chili pepper
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