One of my favorite aspects of our agricultural programs is learning from our class members! As we have been teaching and learning from area farmers about growing in the Nashville region, the members of the classes have been teaching us about crops that they’re most familiar with and ways they use these crops.
Bitter gourd is a vegetable that both our Burmese and Nepalese classes were interested in growing. It is in the cucumber family. As soon as members in one class saw it in the seed catalog, they told us that they use it to help with high blood pressure. So, I did a little bit of investigating on the internet and found out that there are many supposed benefits of this vegetable. Check out this interesting international project researching the health benefits of bitter gourd: http://www.bitter-gourd.org/health-benefits/.
I was first introduced to Roselle as sourleaf. I was warned that it might be a bit sour for my palate. The warning did prevent me from trying the sourleaf nor did it prevent me from making an awful puckered face. Roselle is related to the hibiscus and to my eyes looks similar to an okra plant. If you are a gardener and want to try your hand at growing a new plant, try Roselle!
Bitter Gourd picture retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bittermelloncloseup.jpg
Roselle picture retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mbo2.jpg