heaven is a melon like this

arava.jpgSeptember 3. As I eat this slice of Arava melon (an Israeli hybrid) I think about how we or our children will need local sources for our seeds (not to mention what we grow will be what we eat). Arava, of the brilliant green flesh and a taste that could be described as ecstatic, is so far the best-tasting and the most productive, in our low humidity heat and cold night summers, of any melon we’ve tried. That cool green sweetness as the wet fruit slides onto your tongue, followed by the realization, as the green sweetness multiplies and merges with taste receptors you didn’t even know you had, that here is a melon of transcendental proportion. A few bites and your habitual resistances to happiness dissolve and you think, Life is Sweet, whatever else is happening, in this moment I’m eating the most delicious melon and life is sweet.

Chickens love the Arava rinds, but that’s not saying much as the chicken list of favorite foods is a very long one. This morning, along with melon rinds, the chickens got Trombetta squash, Asian cucumbers, and reject strawberries (that means previously sampled by bugs or rodents), all cut into pieces a chicken could grab and run with. Strawberries perhaps surpass melon rinds in popularity, but the whole bucket is welcomed enthusiastically. That’s why I never give them anything with mold on it – some chicken may very well eat first and ask questions later, by which time it will be too late.

Arava’s taste and productivity could be stabilized into a new open-pollinated variety over several years with a sprawling measure of land and irrigation water allocated to it. It’s not a home-garden-scale project. But what if hundreds of home gardeners each found one food plant to lovingly obsess over? The Arava melon breeder would have it tough – all those melons, each one needing to be tasted. I’m already thinking how there’s space in the solar garden but a big melon patch so near ground squirrel town would need a live-in protector. A little terrier perhaps. Please – somebody else do it – don’t throw me into that melon patch.

3 thoughts on “heaven is a melon like this

  1. Yummy! We have been harvesting melons here as well. It is a good thing I planted so many cold tolerant melons because we have had such a cool summer, but now its getting hot. It is all very confusing to the cool loving peas we just planted for the fall, but maybe some of the eggplants will actually ripen.

    With the way global weather patterns change so rapidly now we really have to have a genetic diversity in the plants we rely on for food. I’ve been trying to expand my awareness of plant characteristics. For example: keeping not just one corn type, but 3 or more. If the normal season corn should fail (like this year because the cool weather) I can plant a quick 72 day variety to take advantage of the Indian Summer. It is more complex than that, but the easy days of monoculture are over I think. Having a rich crop diversity and genetic base is key to success I believe.

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