Ever since we moved here I've noticed many different versions of the same curious sight: huge crops of melons left to rot on roadsides, in vacant sections, and tangled through neglected gardens. These pictures are of the bumper crop piled around the "For Sale" sign in a vacant section at the end of our street.
I suspected these melons weren't edible as nobody collects them up. Fresh fruit and veg is so incredibly expensive here that I'm constantly surprised that scurvy isn't the No.1 health issue, so I hoped to discover that these melons were indeed edible but the subject of an urban myth - like the glorious crops of feijoas I saw many years ago in Queensland that were left to rot because people thought they were poisonous.
The WA-set novel I'm currently reading mentioned "pig melons" so I typed that in to Mr Google who rather unhelpfully replied "Did you mean to search for Big Melons?" Er, no. It turns out that the melons we've been seeing are indeed referred to as pig melons. They are originally from South Africa and are now a rampant weed around these parts.
Via Mr Google I also found interesting accounts of people having pig melon fights and dropping them from great heights. These seem to be the only good uses for these melons as while they are not actually poisonous, they apparently do taste appalling - some accounts say that even pigs won't eat them. I think I'll just stick to buying the few species of locally-grown fruit that are in season, walking past the $18.99 per kg bananas, and occasionally paying $3.60 to treat the children to one small feijoa each.
(And if this post comes out looking all odd and spacey, that is because Blogger is currently revolting. Today is my second day house-bound with a sick boy and I finally thought I'd get a chance to put some stuff on here, but Blogger says "No". Maybe it is time to crank up the sewing machine instead. It knows how to behave itself.)