We have been growing achocha for a number of years but this year Heritage Seed Library sent us another variety, Fat Baby. This has grown well, faster and earlier than the original variety (and prickly rather than smooth skinned!); the leaves are also very different shapes. Just as it grows more quickly, so its seeds also form earlier. The seeds are not an attractive addition to the texture or flavour so the fruit needs to be picked sooner and smaller.
As this image shows, the original variety is further behind, but showing the smoother skin we are used to. We will save seeds from both varieties and sow again next year, assessing ease of germination as part of next year’s sowing results.