Thursday, June 14, 2012
Rich Sweetness 132 melon review
The first ripe Rich Sweetness 132 melon of the season, one more followed the day after, and I got a third one today. I let the first two drop from the vine on their own. They only had a few inches to fall, so no damage done. I noticed that they are a lot darker in color than the photos I have seen of that variety. The third one is lighter in color, the same as the photos I had seen, and didn't slip from the vine by itself, it came off in my hand when I lifted it to get a better look at the color. So, still ripe, just not as ripe as the first two. I wish I'd taken a photo if it, but I sent it along in a veggie bag to my inlaws without even thinking to.
But to the one in the photo....
The melon itself has a strong almost tropical melon fragrance, very pleasant. I can imagine an entire bowl of them filling a room with their scent! I chilled it in the fridge before cutting it because I was told that would enhance the flavor. As you can see from the photo, there are a lot of seeds in these tiny little melons.
They look a lot like a lemon cucumber from the inside, and the flesh is just a pale off-white. Once you remove the seeds, you're left with a thin layer of edible firm-fleshed melon. There isn't much to these little things, but the flesh that there was tasted very good. I've heard reviews that these melons were bland, but the melon in the photo wasn't bland at all. It was sweet enough for my tastes, and flavor-wise seemed like a cross between a honeydew and cantaloupe. Just a pleasant melon flavor overall. Maybe letting it get ripe enough to slip the vine on its own added some extra sweetness? I don't know, but I will sample the next one like I picked this morning for comparison.
You can't really tell from the photo, but the size of each melon is that of a medium lemon. So you get four decent little slices of melon from each fruit. Enough for a snack, or to add to a fruit salad or melon cup. Since they are such compact plants, you'd want to plant a lot of them to make sure you had enough to satisfy you. I will be planting more for sure and more plants at a time.
But since they're an heirloom variety, you can save seeds. And each little melon has enough seeds to start an entire crop from! I harvested the seeds from this melon to save to plant some more and try for a Fall crop. I scooped the seeds out, separated as much of the gel and membrane as I could by hand, and then gently rinsed them in a fine mesh sieve, rubbing off as much of the rest of the melon goo as I could. Then I dropped the seeds into a bowl of water, and scooped out any that floated and discarded them. The seeds that sank, I patted dry with a paper towel, and spread out on a glass plate to dry in an area with good air circulation to finish drying.
As you can see, that's a lot of seeds from one little melon! Overall, the plant has exceeded my expectations. It's a great fruit option for containers in hot climates. And since it can be trellised without having to make slings or other supports for the melons, it doesn't take up a lot of precious space in urban gardens. It'd work well on a balcony or patio garden, Even trellised up some lattice against a sunny wall or fence. The vines are pretty enough for edible landscaping too.