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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Historical Gardening: An Unusual Method of Making Pickles

melon-mangoeing: an historical technique of pickling a stuffed vegetable or fruit.
image from video:

This post isn't to suggest that any of us make pickles in this way. But I just found this very fascinating.

There's this pickling technique that was used in pre-1900 prairie vegetable gardens called melon-mangoeing -- no association with actual mangoes, however. A type of melon, which was very bland in itself, was hollowed out, filled with finely chopped cabbage, peppers, and onions, then sewn shut and submerged in a brine until the outside and inside was pickled. Melon-mangoeing became a popular method of preserving other vegetables as well, such as peppers and even sweet fruits like peaches.

I heard about this technique in a documentary about vegetable gardening in 1800s Minnesota. The video is about 30 minutes and available on youtube, here: Prairie Yard & Garden: Growing Vegetables in the 1800s, put together by Pioneer Public TV (pickling technique shown around the 11:30 mark and again around the 25:20 mark.)

I'm an historical gardening and cooking geek, so this documentary was right up my alley. I thought some of you might also find the entire video as engaging as I do. Enjoy!

If you do watch the video, please share your thoughts, here, in the comments.


  1. If I didn't have anything else to do, I would try this. I'm fascinated by the idea. But I do have time to watch the video. I too am interested in historical gardening.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I doubt I will try making pickles this way, but it is interesting to see how folks did things a couple of hundred years ago.

  2. I just watched the video and found it to be fascinating. I love how resourceful people were - to coax out flavor and use every bit of the resources available to them. Thank you for sharing that! Have a great day!

    1. Hi Ruthis,
      I glad you enjoyed the video. I was fascinated by it too. Very inspiring.
      Have a great day, yourself!


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