Edible gardening guide

How to grow delicious vegetables, herbs, and fruit at home

8 global crops for your edible garden

Goodbye, peas and carrots—try growing these unusual, and lesser-known, vegetables

Chayote

Chayote

Sechium edule

Origin: Mesoamerica

Definition: A perennial vine that produces a mild, pear-shaped summer squash

Synonyms: Mriliton in Louisiana; Christophene in the French Caribbean; Custard marrow or vegetable pear in England

Uses: Peel, pit, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Add to any soup 10 minutes before the soup has finished simmering (chicken and fish are especially good). Or peel, pit, and sliver. Sauté with onions and jalapeños, and eat in a taco with queso fresco and cilantro.

Grow it: It’ll take over any support it’s offered, so give it a fence or better yet, an arbor. Light frost will make it die back in winter; hard frost might kill it, so mulch heavily or overwinter indoors.

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