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Ali Baba Watermelon
Our favorite watermelon! We introduced this fine variety about 20 years ago after we were sent seed by Aziz Nael, an Iraqi gentleman who had collected this fantastic variety in Iraq. It is now nearly impossible to get seeds from this ancient country whose people have lost much of their genetic heritage in the long, bloody war. Now our corporate agriculture has been “kindly” suggested to native farmers who are losing thousands of years of plant breeding work. The 12-30 lb melons have hard light-green rinds that make them perfect for shipping and storage. The light color makes them resistant to sun burning. Plants are large, vigorous and give heavy yields of oblong fruit which do well in many conditions. The flavor is superb, being very sweet and luscious; and the texture is very crisp. This is a best seller and is a favorite of Dr. Amy Goldman and featured in her book “Melons for the Passionate Grower”. Ali Baba has received much acclaim online “as the best tasting watermelon,” and it will forever win a spot in any melon lover’s heart.
Art Combe's Ancient Watermelon
This melon has a green rind and succulent red flesh that is of excellent flavor and sweetness. It is a beautiful melon and a favorite on our farm, easy to grow and producing fruit up to 20 lbs. One of the most fascinating seed discoveries in modern history! In the early 1920s, Art Combe, a Southwestern plant expert and amateur prospector found a small woven pot filled with bright red watermelon seeds in an abandoned sandstone cave in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. The red seeds are believed to be hundreds, if not thousands, of years old! Art planted the seeds and just a few germinated. The fruit was small and crooknecked, unlike any other watermelon he had ever seen before, but the flavor was incredible! Art grew this ancient Native American watermelon for several decades, selecting the largest and most round specimens. The result of decades of selecting is a superb extra large watermelon with bright red extra sweet flesh. Art used a dry farming technique that allowed him to grow extra sweet watermelons with almost no irrigation in the searing hot desert; these watermelons are extremely heat and drought tolerant!
Beni Kodama Watermelon
Super tiny fruit! One of the earliest maturing watermelons of all, a pocket-sized watermelon from Japan. Perfect for short season gardeners; extra small fruit averages just 2-3 pounds. These mini melons are ideal for those super short season gardens, and the personal sized fruit is ideal for marketing or home use. This darling little fruit is green with dark stripes, and the sweet flesh is red.
Blacktail Mountain Watermelon
70 days. One of the earliest watermelons we know; superb for the North, but it also grows well in heat and drought. The flesh is red and deliciously sweet. Fruit has a dark rind and weighs 8-12 lbs each. This excellent variety was developed by our friend Glenn Drowns, owner of the Sand Hill Preservation Center in Iowa. A favorite of many gardeners across the USA. One of the best we have ever tried!
Charleston Gray Watermelon
Clay County Yellow Meat
Extremely rare heirloom from Clay County, Alabama. Our original seed has been stored in a freezer since 1976. Yellow-fleshed watermelons reach 50 lbs, and are reputed to be the sweetest, best-tasting yellow-fleshed watermelons grown. Has been grown for at least 100 years. Produced well in spite of drought in our 2008 trials.
Citrullus lanatus We discovered this classic Cypriot watermelon in 1996 in the picturesque mid-week farmer’s market within the walls of Old Nicosia. Grown then by only one villager, it is now gone from the island’s markets and is considered one of the most endangered of the Cypriot heirlooms. Dating from at least the 1700s if not before, this melon is known locally as the Pastiha Kypriaki “Anidri,” which means that it requires very little irrigation. The traditional practice was to pack mud around the base of the plants in the early morning and let Nature do the rest. The melons feature thin black-green skin with rich, bright red flesh and weigh from 5 to 10 pounds, depending on soil fertility. We have gotten some to weigh as much as 20 pounds. Highly productive, with several fruits on one vine, this watermelon can be grown successfully on trellises or netting. Grown for the Roughwood Seed Collection at Field’s Edge Farm, Lititz, Pennsylvania.
Desert King Watermelon
Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon
90 days. The crisp, firm flesh of this true Ozark heirloom watermelon absolutely drips with sugary sweetness! This strain was reportedly perfected and grown by a Mr. Hamby of Cedar County, Missouri as a market crop in the 1930s. The seed came to us via Mr. John Lower of Bolivar, Missouri, who received seed from a Hamby descendant about 1995. With thin, striped green rind and red flesh, the nearly round fruit grow to 12 to 20 lbs on average, and occasionally larger. Our grower reported that everyone who tried this variety felt it was the best they had ever tasted!
Our favorite mini melon! 75 days. This is one of the best finds from our trip to Japan. The Kaho watermelon has gorgeous salmon-orange flesh that is delicious right up to the super thin rind, making this one of the most unique watermelons we have trialled. It was also one of the best we’ve tasted. Elongated fruit weighs about 2-4 pounds and is perfect for 2 servings. This rare heirloom was originally brought to Japan from China around the year 1912.
An extra jumbo watermelon that can be found individually wrapped in rope ‘baskets’ in Japanese markets and sold for up to 7000 yen each! This iconic variety makes a popular gift in Japan and can often be found at summer picnics. This variety was selected from a U.S. variety called Rattlesnake, which was brought to Japan during the Meiji Era and cultivated in the town of Nyuzen and along the Kurobe River since the 1930s. This variety is presented to the Imperial family every year, and the super sweet mammoth fruit is a popular and expensive gift, up to 70 US dollars each. A giant cartoon watermelon is also a popular Japanese mascot, a nod to this beloved Japanese variety.
Selected best tasting watermelon in our trials a few years ago. A Renowned watermelon developed in S.C. by J.E. Lednum in the early 20th Century. Mr. Lednum obtained this variety by crossing Stone Mountain with Kleckley’s Sweet. Lednum’s name was misspelled by a county Board of Agriculture employee in a 1938 pamphlet, and the name has stuck. Slightly oblong fruit has a thin rind which makes shipping this fabulous melon nearly impossible, and so has been grown exclusively as a “family melon” for generations. The pink-to-red fleshed melons sometimes reach 40 lbs., and are claimed by some to be “the sweetest melon grown.” A treasure
Lemon Drop watermelon
70 days. An outstanding and super rare all-golden mini melon. Baker Creek has been searching for an all-yellow watermelon for many years. These incredibly small and early producing melons are just what we’ve been pining after-- a rich lemon-yellow color from skin to flesh! Like striking gold, this glorious gilded watermelon was the stuff of dreams and legend. The excitement was palpable as these Asian type, pocket sized melons began to ripen on vine at the trials. We were thrilled with the vigorous growing habit and productivity; each vine blossoming and providing perfect single serving sized 1-2 pound fruit with flavor that is unparalleled, candy sweet and crispy textured. A perfect little snacking melon with super thin rind. In fact, the flesh is edible all the way down to the skin. A perfect home garden or local market melon, as the thin skin is not well suited to long distance shipping. The vines produce tons of the personal sized melons. Will throw a small percentage of green skinned fruit.
Moon and Stars Watermelon
95 days. Legendary heirloom variety rediscovered in Macon, Missouri. Can grow to over 40 lbs. The dark green rind has bright yellow spots on it! Spots range in size from tiny to several inches across. Leaves are also specked in yellow. It has very sweet, brilliant red flesh. This is becoming one of the most popular heirloom varieties, a winner! Originally introduced by Peter Henderson & Co. in 1926, it was called “SUN, MOON AND STARS.” The catalog says, “...an extraordinary variation...and that it has such a delicious taste.” It was sold then for 20 cents a pack. Unique variety!
Moon and Stars Yellow Flesh Watermelon
90-95 days. Rare, this is the yellow-meated strain of this fine heirloom; these are very delicious and have beautiful, yellow-orange meat that is very sweet. The large fruit can grow to 40 lbs, and it has large, yellow “Moons and Stars” covering their nearly black rinds. Our favorite variety of the planetary watermelons, it was a real favorite at our 2004 “Heirloom Garden Show”. A great variety for farmers’ markets.
85 days. Beautiful, deep orange flesh; very sweet, excellent, almost tropical flavor! The best-tasting of ALL orange varieties we tried—the favorite of many who tried it at our place. High yields. Very resistant to wilt and insects; strong healthy vines. These will sell at roadside stands & markets! Introduced by Willhite Seed Co. prior to 1965.
The perfect melon for small families! This pretty little melon from Nara Prefecture in Japan is extra early to mature. 3-4 pound fruit has an attractive light green skin and blushed salmon-rose colored flesh. This is ideal for short season gardeners, and marketing is a breeze with pretty little melons like these. Plants are impressively productive, and flesh is super sweet and delicious.
Royal Golden Watermelon
A Family Favorite! The most beautiful watermelon we carry; the rind of this heirloom turns brilliant golden-yellow when ripe! The distinctive color makes it a snap to know when to harvest and is so beautiful in your garden. The tasty pinkish-red flesh is super -sweet, crisp and refreshing. This variety is much larger than ‘Golden Midget’, with fruit weighing 8-25 lbs. We are so happy to offer seed for this great old melon that used to be offered by Willhite Seed of Poolville, Texas, until they discontinued it from their catalog in the 1970s and it almost disappeared. It was developed from “Pumpkin Rind” variety, a now extinct, early American watermelon. The Royal Goldens still do remind us of big glowing pumpkins and their vines are even mostly yellow. One of the best tasting watermelons ever!
Scaly Bark Watermelon
90 days. A mouthwatering heirloom of antiquity with crisp, juicy flesh and candy sweet flavor. This historic variety was listed in the1884 retail catalogue of Benson, Maule Seeds, which said, “This melon was first brought prominently before the public notice at the Atlanta Exhibition in 1881. It remains in choice eating condition from ten to fifteen days after being pulled... Skin is although smoothe, looks as if covered with fish scales. ” This melon remained popular for many years, especially in the South. It was named for the mottled, light and medium green rind that appears much like tree bark. We are glad to see this great, unique-looking melon again in gardens!
Silver Yamato Watermelon
Sugar Sweet & Snow White! Extreme quality texture and flavor have made Silver Yamato an instant favorite in our trials. This snowy, silver-fleshed heirloom hails from Nara Prefecture, Japan. The flavor defies easy description; test tasters have noted a hint of citrus, notes of sweet Asian pear and an overall creamy finish, making a flavor experience that should not be missed! This is an early-maturing melon, great for a range of growing climates. The 6-10 pound fruit is perfect for the home gardener or market gardener. Just remember that this delicate heirloom treasure cracks more easily than shipping types.
85 days. Flesh is a gorgeous strawberry pink, ripening to within a half-inch of the rind, and usually has very few seeds. Fine grained, distinctively flavored and super sweet; it is classed among the best-tasting by those who have tried it. The oblong, striped fruit reaches 15-25 pounds. With moderate disease resistance, this variety deserves to be the star of your summer garden. Originally selected from a Florida heirloom by Walt Childs and introduced in 1989 by our good friends at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Outstanding!
Sugar Baby Bush Watermelon
White Wonder Watermelon
80 days. Beautiful, snow-white flesh is so pale it’s almost transparent! The flavor is unique, fruity, and so delicious. The small, round 3-8 lb icebox-sized fruit is very refreshing and perfect for gourmet growers wanting to target high-class markets. These will add contrast to any display and are sure to bring attention at farmers’ markets. Whitefleshed watermelons were common in the 1800’s, but due to corporate agriculture, these genetic treasures are about to be lost. That is a shame, as white-fleshed varieties date back hundreds of years and were developed in Africa from wild strains. This early variety is not for shipping as it cracks easily, but you will enjoy its unique crispness, fresh from the garden.
Wilson's Sweet Watermelon
So Tasty! 80 days. Very unique spotted rind, with very crisp, sweet red flesh that bursts with rich, old-time watermelon flavor! One of the best melons I’ve tried in the last few years. Truly a winner! It used to be grown commercially, and was offered by several seed companies in the 1960s, but has since become nearly extinct. A great variety for home and market gardeners, as it produces 15-to 20 lb fruit that keeps well.
Yamato Cream Watermelon
A Taste Test Favorite! An outstanding Japanese variety bred by renowned watermelon expert of the early 20th century, Mr. Takeshi Kanda. Yamato cream was bred in what is now the Nara Prefecture in Japan. Buttercream colored flesh is a bit citrusy, sweet and complex. It was a run-away winner in our 2018 taste test trials at the National Heirloom Exposition. Flavor has been described as Asian pear and apples with light citrus tones. Makes a refreshing, sweet, almost pear-like juice. This variety is fairly early to mature and not ideal for shipping as it cracks easily. A perfect choice for small farmers and especially home gardeners.