My garden always has several unique crops, usually heirloom seeds that were popular many years ago and that have a history. It adds fun to the garden to try these new crops plus sometimes you find a great crop that adds to your kitchen table or crafting projects.
photo credit: Jonathan Shield
Several years ago I heard of the “Vine Peach.” It’s a seed that is more difficult to find. Heirloom seed catalogs and specialty seed catalogs carry it. What attracted me to this seed was the fact it was a fruit you could grow annually in your back yard and that it had an interesting background. So… I had to find the seed and grow it in my garden. I did manage to track a package of seeds down and since that time I have harvested the seeds at the end of the season for future crops.
Originally this fruit grew wild across most of the United States. As growth and development began the vine peach started to disappear. It was a favorite of the American Indian and with the rich heritage of numerous Indian cultures in our area I wanted to try this crop.
The peach vine looks a lot like a cucumber plant when it is young and has a lot of the same growing characteristics. It need warm nights to grow successfully and should be planted after the last frost warnings in you area has passed. I grow my vine peaches on a trellis. I find the crop grows better vertical and it saves room in the garden. For color I usually add a few scarlet runner beans to the area.
The fruit could be compared to a cantaloupe but it is much smaller and has a very mellow taste. I found that is was perfect for jams and jellies. It’s a crop that I don’t grow every year but when I do it’s a great addition to the garden,