As you can see, my choko vine has become aerial and is suspended from the walnut tree over the sasanqua camellia bush and there is the first of no doubt lots of chokos so Autumn is definitely here. These strange little South American vegetables go from insignificant flowers to full blown fruit in just a few days. Chokos are not everyone's cup of tea but they are full of vitamin C and I harvest, grate and freeze them for adding to soups and stews over the winter. Not sure if it is their Vitamin C but we don't get many colds or flus. They are quite bland so can be added to lots of other things as a "stretcher". My daughter Kate, adds them to stewed apple when she is making apple sauce and they are great as a replacement for carrots in baking - so you can make a choko cake from a carrot cake recipe. I used to make this when Tahi was rowing and there were always requests to get Granny to make that spice cake for training. Little did they know it was made from what is a rampant weed to some people. One the first frost gets here the plant will die off till next year. My one comes away from the root stock each year but they are also easy to start from one of the fruits themselves.
I got my original one from surplus at the food bank - they couldnt give them away, mainly because people don't know how to use them. I have controlled the vine this year as it was a beast last year and getting rid of the dying vine was a major task. The pukekos love the fruit too so I have to harvest them before my swamp friends decide it is a free invitation to dinner.