Monday, August 21, 2006

Melon Baby

The Sept/Oct 2006 issue of the Washington Gardener magazine is now at the printer and I have a small breather where I can do things like clean my house, weed the garden etc. before going off in a few days to the Garden Writers Annual Meeting.

This summer has been so dry, aside from the one downpour of 12 inches in June, that I had to break down finally and top off my pond with the gardennhose *shudder*. The drought has been so bad this summer that my edible bed looks like the surface of Mars despite daily watering.

I did manage to grow this sweetie pictured here. She (he?) is an heirloom veggie that I got courtesy of Barbara Melera at D. Landreth Seeds in Baltimore, MD. It is a Queen Anne's Pocket Melon - meant not for eating but for carrying in your pockets to cover up the smells of daily life in the times prior to regular bathing and sanitation practices. The melon is indeed pocket-sized and has a rather soft outer layer. The one pictured here is now sitting in my kitchen adding a light melon-y scent to it.

The first melon that ripened off my plant was a bit larger and darker in color. However, apparently some rodent decided to take a few nibbles on it right before I harvested it. I noticed the bite marks, but brought it inside anyway - it last about 5 days before it started to decay and I had to give in and chuck it into the compost pile. Then I harvested this second one before it got nibbled on as well. No more fruit has set on at this point so I think I will pull the shriveling vine up and plant some cool season crop after my trip next week. Any suggestions?


Washington Cube said...

I would love to grow vegetables, but the rodent population loves them too, and I get weary of going out and finding chewed bits of produce and empty vine.

Loretta said...

Love these pocket melons! Imagine if we all just carried melons in our pockets and never bathed- gardeners (well, successful gardeners) would be the best smelling people..on that melon note I'm going to tear out my 2 heirloom melon plants tonight...
Good on ya with that awesome melon.