Sun-sweetened melons

Plant heirloom varieties now for a juicy harvest this summer

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  • Flavorful melons: 'Amish' (A) 'Crane' (B) 'Collective Farm Woman' (C) and 'Eden's Gem' (D).

    Melon varieties

    Rob D. Brodman

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Five flavor favorites

Seeds of the following varieties are available from Seed Savers Exchange (563/382-5990), a nonprofit organization of gardeners who save and share heirloom seeds.

'Amish' (A) Heirloom cantaloupe. Orange flesh is very sweet and juicy. 80–90 days from planting to harvest.

'Crane' (B) Crenshaw-type melon (teardrop shape with light orange flesh) introduced in the 1920s in California. Sweet and very productive; pick when fruits are yellowish with green tinges. 75–85 days.

'Collective Farm Woman' (C) Unusual Ukrainian variety that's similar to honeydew, but the skin changes from dark green to yellowish orange (some may be freckled green) when ripe. Very productive and sweet; best for mild, not hot, climates. 80–85 days.

'Eden's Gem' (D) Small (4- to 5-in.-diameter) honeydew developed in Rocky Ford, Colorado, in 1905. Lime green flesh tastes spicy-sweet. 65–80 days.

'Oka' Large muskmelon, a type of cantaloupe bred around 1912, with sweet orange flesh. 80–90 days.

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