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September 1, 2013
Emerald Gem melons

Emerald Gem melons

I decided to try growing melons again this year. I tried a few years ago, with mediocre results. It wasn’t a very hot summer and the hoop house I grew them in spent the greater part of the afternoon in the shade of oak trees. But this year, on the new farm, we have a hoop house in full sun all day and with a lot more space. I planted three varieties: Emerald Gem, Rocky Ford and Prescott Fond Blanc. Emerald Gem is an heirloom variety, introduced by W. Atlas Burpee in 1886. It has orange flesh, with a musky flavor; rich, sweet and juicy. Rocky Ford is an heirloom muskmelon. This one has green flesh, that is also juicy and sweet. The third variety, Prescott Fond Blanc, is a true cantaloupe from France, with thick orange flesh.

Prescott Fond Blanc melon

Prescott Fond Blanc melon

The melons are doing pretty well this year, especially the Emerald Gem and Rocky Ford. Unfortunately, the voles are finding many of the ripening melons before I do, and they seem to like the Prescott Fond Blanc in particular. Since it is not as prolific as the others, it may never make it off the farm and will just be a special treat for the voles.

In other farm news, the harvesting continues. I seeded the last batch of lettuce a week or so ago and planted out another batch yesterday. Despite the fact that we have now caught about seven gophers in our traps, the lettuce is still disappearing. Now, I think it is not just gophers, but also voles at work. The only other seeding I plan to do now, for this year, is spinach and arugula, though it may already be too late. Still, I try, because you never know, maybe the weather will be perfect for them, though shorter daylight hours are likely the bigger issue. Forever the optimist in the garden!

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