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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by Ann1 on December 12, 2004 03:02 AM
Mirlitons were a vegetable very popular in New Orleans and some of the dishes made with them were delicious, but they were rarely sold in the stores there. [we need an emoticon to show a pleased diner after a delicious meal!] You had to grow your own or know someone who did.

Every so often, when I tried to find info on them, I could find nothing--Little did I know that most other places they are called chayote!! Cooked like squash or eggplant and stuffed with shrimp and onions, there is nothing better!

I already have so many seeds from everyone I don't know when I'll get to plant them all, but since some of this is daydreaming, I've decided to add chayote to my list of vegetables I want to grow.

The seeds must be planted with the whole vegetable/fruit from what I understand. Does anyone know if the fruit sold in the vegetable section can be planted to result in a flowering/fruiting plant? If not, where can I get fruit/vegetables and seeds to plant? [One seed per fruit.]

Thanks. And thanks to everyone on the forum for the wonderful seeds I've received. [thumb]

by papito on December 12, 2004 05:05 PM
Chayote prefers climate with long, warm sunny days. It bear fruits in the shorter days of autumn. It is popular in Louisiana and Florida, and in some parts of southern California. It grows as a vine . A single vine climbs to 50 feet with clinging tendrils; the lush growth of Chayote needs sturdy supports because the vine will produce 50 to 150 Chayotes.

To produce a vine, you plant the entire fruit, fat end down. Set the whole fruit in ground at a slant with narrow end of fruit slightly above ground. If seed has sprouted, cut sprout back 2 inches. You'll get your first harvest 25 to 30 days after flowers are pollinated.

It prefers rich well drained soil. Plant in Spring [when danger of frost has passed]. Keep soil moist. Apply enough fertilizer to keep growth vigorous.

You could probably use store bought Chayote if they were not chemically treated. Just ask the produce manager for this info.

Credit: Sunset Vegetable Gardening.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by ServantsHeart2003 on December 12, 2004 07:32 PM
I have one growing in my mini Greenhouse right now that we bought at the flea market. The one I planted this year outside I planted too late so we had started to get frost before the fruit had a chance to get very big!! [tears] My husband being Mexican loves this squash!! (He loves almost all kinds actually! I do not like winter squashes but DH and my Mom do!!) If anyone has recipes to share I would be grateful. The only one I have is for Chayote, Chilis and Corn--pretty good but not something you want over and over and over!! hehehe Bet DH would LOVE your recipe Ann1!! He LOVES shrimp!! [thumb]

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by Ann1 on December 12, 2004 11:07 PM
Thanks Papito and Servantsheart,

I'll ask the next time I see them in the store.
I think they'll probably grow here in the low country of South Carolina since our climate is very similar to Louisiana.

I can't find my main cookbook--vol 1 of River Road Recipes but these all sound similar--though I haven't made it in a long time. The last has a paragraph or two about the various names of the vegetable and a bit of the mystique and/or confusion involved.

Smothered Chayote and Shrimp by Emeril

Crab Meat & Shrimp Stuffed Mirliton

Janice Savoye's Stuffed Mirliton

I haven't used crabmeat in mine but have eaten it cooked that way. The recipes aren't exactly like I remember, but play around with them. If you like squash or eggplant and shrimp, you'll enjoy this.

by ServantsHeart2003 on December 13, 2004 03:00 AM
It should grow fine for you Ann!! It grows well for me and I am upstate SC!! Give it a go--but plant it early March or so--as soon as the ground is able to be worked or leave it on your table in a large coffee sup or bowl until you see roots and vine growing then plant it!! Good Luck and enjoy!! Thanks for the recipes!! Bonnie

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