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Cucumeropsis Mannii Egusi-itoo Gourd Seeds
Packet of 5+ home grown very rarely available seeds!
It’s native to the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Tobago, Guyana, Venezuela, Merida, Amazonas, Barinas, Cojedes, Portuguesa, Sucre, Carabobo, Lara, Yaracuy, Delta Amacuro, Brazil, Pará, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador where it is an uncultivated wild species often known botanically as Melothria sphaerocarpa.
It is also native to Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola and Nigeria, and over there it is a domesticated species having much larger seeds and grown on a huge scale.
They know it as Cucumeropsis mannii or most commonly “Egusi-itoo”, but I have also seen it called, Mann’s cucumeropsis, white-seed-melon, egusi, dark egusi, jicaro, lo-macam, agushi, brujito, égousi, egousi-itoo, lipupu,
Cucumeropsis edulis, Cladosicyos edulis, Posadaea sphaerocarpa, Corynosicyos edulis, Cucumeropsis mackennii, Cucurbitella ecuadorensis, Melothria sphaerocarpa, or Momordica procera.
I am a big fan of Unusual Rare Melons, and this one in particular has been used as a domesticated food crop dating back at least 4000 years!
It is grown for the seeds only and the bitter flesh is considered edible, but never actually eaten.
The juice is sold as a medicinal or tonic in some places but I personally give it a miss and grow it only for the seeds.
These seeds are super nutritious and contain the same amount of oil along with about 10% more protein than peanuts!
They are also easy to press being soft shelled and the oil extracted is used for cooking oil, soap, paint and biodiesel production.
The left over high protein seed cake is still very nutritious and it is formed into cakes and fried for a high protein snack or roasted powdered and used in soups and stews as a thickener and to add a delicious nutty flavour.
It can be bought like packaged like flour to make dumplings and cakes in some places, as can the whole hulled raw or roasted whole seeds.
Thrives in harsh climates and very high yields are possible even in the most barren of landscapes.
They improve the soil quality by shading and cooling it, preventing weeds and erosion, at the same time adding humus.
They are an ideal intercropping species with sorghum, cassava, coffee, cotton, maize, or banana crops and not only to they add another source of income, then can can reduce weedings during the growing season from three to just one!
This is a major economic benefit to farmers, and unlike most of the other crops grown they contain a huge range of trace elements and vitamins.
This ensures adequate macro and micronutrients in the diet along with essential fatty acids, amino acids Vitamin B and Vitamin E.
They are also considered to be a critical tool for interventions in diseases such as marasmus and kwashiorkor.
The plant has no pests or diseases that I have noticed(apart from wallabies and kangaroos!) and I will be planting a heap more myself so if sold out just wack your email on the notify list.
Grown by me and the Mrs organically, no chems, no nasties, no problems!!!