Sunday, July 25, 2010

A singular, beautiful cantaloupe

I've only had one melon this year, but what a beaut. The possums didn't get to this one, unlike last year; I put chicken wire around this one to protect it.
Homegrown organic cantaloupe

This is a Hale's Best Jumbo muskmelon, an organic heirloom variety grown from seed from Botanical Interests. I chose this variety because it was described as drought-resistant.
Homegrown organic cantaloupe

The flesh was advertised as salmon-orange, but I think it's more of an apricot shade. Unlike some melons, this one didn't have a lot of liquid in the center around the seeds.
Homegrown organic cantaloupe

The flesh was very firm, almost crisp. The aroma and flavor were delightfully sweet and mildly floral.
Homegrown organic cantaloupe

Hale's Best is a really lovely melon! I'll definitely grow them next year. I only had room for one vine this year, but I'll make room for more next year.
Homegrown organic cantaloupe

There is a second melon, on a vine that crossed over to the neighbor's yard. The neighbor lady pointed it out to me yesterday, and I told her that she's welcome to whatever grows on their side of the fence. Her two little girls are very excited. It's still too green to eat, so I recommended she wait until it turns yellow. Hopefully the possums won't get to it first and ruin everything!


Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

9 comments:

  1. I'm growing them for the first time and was excited to see a big green one on the vine last week.

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  2. Looks like a good one. I've never grown melons...on purpose, anyway. I've had some come up, in the compost. But, those never seem to set fruit.
    Maybe next year, I'll try it, the right way.

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  3. My 1st thought at you telling about the melon on the other side of the fence and the little girls excitement was what if they see what happens when you plant seeds, take care of them and good food grows. This might just start a couple of new, young gardeners, excited to grow plants, reap the harvest, savor the harvest of their labors, wonder at their new life long hobby.

    Nah, probably not, they won't be able to figure out how to make their computer do it.

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  4. Now that IS a beauty! That's probably the best-looking homegrown cantaloupe I've seen. Personally, I'm allergic. Just handling them makes my hands swell, turn red and itch like crazy!

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  5. That is gorgeous, Caroline! So chicken wire worked, eh? I briefly considered it but the holes seemed pretty big. We've had tomatoes, figs & peppers ruined by bird beaks and chicken wire would let them punch through the opening.

    Possums! Had raccoons and squirrels in mind, but forgot about possums.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  6. Chicken wire worked for the cantaloupe; time will tell if it works for the watermelon, the possums' favorite. Bird netting worked well to protect my tomatoes; that, and picking them the moment they started to blush. And having lots of bird feeders. Didn't help with the dreaded stink bugs, though. Dromgoole's sells a dark colored shade fabric with a fine weave; I might try that with the bugs next year.

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