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- Artichoke & Cardoon
- Bitter Melon
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- Brussels Sprouts
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- The Explorer Series
(Cucumis melo) We have heirloom melons that can mature in almost any climate. Try some of these sweet & juicy varieties this year and enjoy a taste trip into your past... enjoy the flavor!
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Turkey is famous for melons, and with one taste of this bespeckled beauty, you will know that fame is well deserved. The flesh is white and tender, and the rind is hard and thick, helping make these good keepers! Named for the city of Alaçatıa, a Turkish town on the Aegean Sea famous for its vineyards and its windmills.
Armenian Yard-Long Cucumber
(Cucumis melo) Light green, mild tasting, deeply ribbed fruit. The elongated fruit yields uniform, easily digestible, fluted slices. They are apt to twist and coil growing on the ground, but develop nice and straight when hanging from a trellis. Fruit reaches over 24 inches long, but is best harvested at about 15 inches. This classic Armenian “cucumber” is actually a melon genetically.
90 days. Banana-shaped fruit with smooth, yellow skin; and sweet, spicy, salmon-colored flesh. 16-24 inches long, 5-8 lbs. It was listed in 1885 by J. H. Gregory’s Catalogue, which said, “When ripe it reminds one of a large, overgrown banana... It smells like one, having a remarkably powerful and delicious fragrance.” This is one of my all-time favorites, being very sweet and great for specialty markets.
Bateekh Samara Melon
Unique, sweet, citrus-like taste! 95 days. Oblong fruit is brownish-green and netted outside, lime green within. In our trials the flavor was an unusual, a very delicious, sweet-tart combination with a distinct citrus taste. The name simply means “old melon from Samarra,” which is a city in northern Iraq. Original seed was furnished by our friend, Iraqi seed collector Nael Aziz, who writes that this variety is known to have been grown in the Abbasid Period over one thousand years ago! Endangered due to war and America’s aggressive promotion of patented seeds in Iraq.
Boule d'Or Melon
(Golden Perfection) Very sweet, pale green flesh is just marvelous. Lovely yellow fruit has a unique, lacy netting, like a work of art. This was one of our top melons in our 2003 trials, truly incredible; my all-time favorite honeydew type. Sugary flesh is so flavorful and rich. This variety is a dream for market growers and will command high prices with gourmets and chefs alike! It was listed in Vilmorin’s book, The Vegetable Garden, in 1885 but it is very rare now. Let’s make this variety a market favorite again!
Collective Farm Woman Melon
80-85 days. This heirloom from the Ukraine was collected in 1993 by Seed Savers Exchange. Very popular on on the peninsula of Krim in the Black Sea. Melons ripen to a yellowish-gold and the white flesh has a very high sugar content, a favorite among heirloom gardeners and growers alike. Ripens early, even in Russia, and tolerates comparatively cool summers—known to do well in Canada.
85 days. Delicious Crenshaw type melons have sweet, fine flavored pale orange flesh. The green-skinned rind develops orange spots when ripe. Each fruit weighs 4 lbs. This famous California heirloom was introduced in 1920 by Oliver Crane, whose family has been farming near Santa Rosa for six generations.
Ginger's Pride Melon
This gargantuan melon is the largest we offer! Huge, oblong fruit averages 14-22 lbs. each! The skin is green, turning yellowish when ripe. The flesh is very sweet, melting, and of excellent quality. The vines set heavy yields. This variety was sent to us by Rev. John R. Johnson from his Indiana garden. Named for his granddaughter, it has been in his family for many years, originating in Kentucky. This is a melon to proudly display at market or the county fair!
Golden Jenny Melon
75-80 days (Also known as Israel Melon) An excellent-tasting, early melon and our favorite for texture. Commonly thought to have originated in Israel, where its name means “anchor” but may have actually originated in Hungary. Flavorful green flesh; good yields of nearly round, 3-4 lb fruit; a beautiful melon! Very fragrant. A long-time favorite of the Gettle family (also from Hungary).
Hale's Best 45 Melon
85 days. A classic, silky-fleshed super sweet market musk melon from the early 20th century. In 1923 I.D. Hale encountered this variety in Imperial County, near Brawley, Calif., being grown by a Japanese American market farmer. This sweet, smooth, orange fleshed-musk melon has been a staple for home and market growers since!
This amazing early Indian melon was collected by Joseph Simcox. The fruit is a brilliant copper-red and is striped in green and cream, making this an extremely unusual and beautiful melon. The pale green flesh is sweet, aromatic and slightly musky in taste. Joe believes that this melon originated in the Punjab, and he spent more than 8 years trying to find seeds of this extremely interesting variety. Vine produces lots of 2 lb fruit.
Kiku Chrysanthemum Melon
Rare Marvel from Japan! This historic melon is named for the Japanese Chrysanthemum flower, which it is said to resemble. One of the best melons we found in Japan, with an incredibly unique flavor. A very rare, early and beautifully productive, small, white, creamy melon that has mellow flesh. It tastes like Greek yogurt with a hint of lychee; the flavor has also been compared to pear. The origin of Kiku melon is the Makuwa Uri melon which came from China to Japan sometime in antiquity.
Madhu Ras, Rajasthan Honey Melon
This is a small but delicious melon from Rajasthan, India. The name Madhu Ras means honey melon, an appropriate name for such a sweet fruit. These melons thrive in the hot and dry conditions of western India, and they will grow in similar conditions in the U.S. One of our favorites in trials, the flesh is soft and silky with a classic muskmelon taste. This is a rare find brought to us from Botanical Explorer Joseph Simcox, who found this special heirloom at a market in Delhi, India.
Mango Melon (Vine Peach)
Grow your own delicious fruit for pies in 70 days! Fruit taste of honeydew melon and peach when cooked in desserts. The 3-inch fruit is the size of a peach, with a yellow rind and fruity-tasting white flesh. This variety was very popular in Victorian times for making sweet pickles, pies, and preserves. Developed in China and introduced into America in the 1880s. You can find easy recipes for melon pie online.
Minnesota Midget Melon
This micro melon is a very early heirloom, introduced in Minnesota in 1948. Measuring just 4 inches across, they have sweet, orange flesh and are perfect miniature versions of the “classic muskmelon.” Compact, 3-4-foot vines produce good yields of sweet orange orbs. Jere Gettle remembers eating these as a child in the 1980s in the mountains of Montana. They were the only melon that would grow in the mountain climate, and Jere remembers harvesting them with his father, cutting open the palm-sized fruit and savoring the sweet, succulent flesh.
75 days. Model melon has crisp, juicy texture and electrifying green flesh; the sugary flavor is amazing! The green orb-shaped fruit is lightly netted. The green flesh is thick, very aromatic and sweet. This uniform and pleasingly perfect heirloom variety is one of the finest flavored that we have tried, always winning our hearts at annual melon tasting trials. Hailing from Poland, these melons are about two to three pounds each. Extra fancy looking!
Mother Mary's Pie Melon
A favorite in our vegan restaurant. Here's a really different little melon! Tart little fruit is about softball sized or slightly smaller, weighing to about 6 ounces. Smooth, occasionally netted bright yellow-orange skin contains the white flesh. The fruit is fragrant, tangy and moderately sweet. Original seed was preserved by W.R. Lorence, whose Minnesota grandmother a century ago made pies from a combination of this melon and apples. Our cooks turn these into incredible pies, crisps and cakes. Enjoy wonderful melon flavor in your summer baking and preserves!
Noir de Carmes Melon
80 days. This sugary melon has rightfully remained a popular choice in France for centuries. This variety was long ago preserved by Carmelite monks in France, at least since the 1800s but likely longer. This round/oblate, slightly ribbed 1.5 to 4-pound fruit has a sweet, juicy orange flesh and was a favorite of the “Maraichers” or vegetable farmers of Paris’ green belt in the 19th century.
Old Time Tennessee Melon
An old favorite of mine. Produces huge, oblong melons that weigh 12-14 lbs and have a deeply creased rind. Their orange flesh is superior, being loaded with unique fruity undertones and a sweetness not often found in modern melons. High sugar content. Fragile melons are not good keepers but are winners with gourmet foodies. This old Tennessee heirloom was almost lost to modern gardens.
Petit Gris de Rennes Melon
85 days. Dense, 2-lb fruit has orange flesh that is superbly sweet, flavorful, and perfumed. This variety is early and well adapted to cool climates. The fruit weighs around 2 lbs and has a grey-green rind. This fine French variety is of the best quality and is the favorite melon of the French melon expert and author Bruno Defay. Rare in the USA. One of our most requested market melons; specialty growers love them because they command top prices! We continue to receive rave reviews about this melon, which is surely one of the best Charentais types.
Sakata's Sweet Melon
85 days. A favorite Asian variety of Dr. Amy Goldman, author of Melons for the Passionate Grower. These small 3 to 4 inch round melons are very sweet with a high sugar content. Oriental varieties open a whole new dimension to melons as they are amazingly different. Crisp and crunchy; they have edible skins. Their small size and light, golden rind make them very attractive. This fine Japanese variety was developed by Sakata’s Seed Co., of Yokohama. This is a must for marketing. They are in high demand by melon lovers and command top prices! Rare and colorful.
Sweet Passion Melon
An Ohio heirloom that has been grown since the 1920s. According to legend, the sweet orange flesh is said to cause a state of passion if eaten straight from the garden on a moonlit summer night. It has succulent flesh that is very sweet, aromatic and very finely flavored. Fruit weighs 3-4 lbs and is produced on vines that have some drought and wilt resistance.
Thai Golden Round Melon
An unusual and attractive edible ornamental melon from Thailand. The big 6-lb fruit glow with an electrifying orange skin, and when sliced open reveals an illuminating chartreuse flesh. The green flesh is juicy and succulent and has a very unique tropical taste. The plants are extremely productive, vines are covered in large glowing orbs.
90 days. The most amazing looking melon we have grown. The fruit is vibrant yellow with brilliant fire-red, zigzag stripes (a few may be solid yellow), simply beautiful! They are also the most fragrant melons we have tried, with a rich, sweet, intoxicating aroma that will fill a room. The white flesh gets sweeter in dry climates, mild tasting. Small in size, the fruit weighs up to 1 lb. The vigorous plants yield heavily, even in dry conditions. This heirloom came from an Armenian market located in a mountain valley.
Tommy Apple Melon
A gourmet cantaloupe that has been tended by Mr. Tommy Apple in his home garden by the banks of the Snake River in eastern Oregon since the 1970s. Tommy received the seeds for this silky sweet melon from a local Oregon nurseryman in the early 1970s. The melons were introduced to Tommy as oriental melon and were quite late maturing but remarkably tasty. The fruit of this eastern Oregon landrace is oblong and varies in size from football-sized to jumbo. Over the decades, Tommy has selected for earlier maturation, but he says the incredible, sweet, mellow flavor and refined texture are just as good as the original melons he received almost 50 years ago. Tommy is our seed grower for this amazing variety and says that he harvests fruit by hand, visiting the garden each morning barefoot with a fruit sack slung around his shoulder. He says harvest is easy: the fruit picks itself! Indeed, the mature fruit turns a golden color and slip from the vine when perfectly ripe. Thanks to the hard work of Mr. Tommy Apple for this amazing heirloom.
Xylangouro Cucumber Melon
(Cucumis melo) A delicious silky textured cucumber like melon originally from the Greek island of Chios. Mild lightly honey-sweet flesh is velvety soft, a superb heat tolerant cucumber substitute. Our seeds were shared with us from the St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Monastery gardens in Roscoe, NY. We have shared seeds with this monastery garden in the past and were delighted went they sent us seeds for this large, lightly fuzzy cucumber like melon. The vines are vigorous and heat loving, producing masses of these “cukes” which are very similar to Armenian cucumber.