September 10, 2004

Crane Melons This weekend I toured two Sonoma-based organic farms. The first was Grossi's growing all things vegetable and well-know for their melons, particularly Crane melons. The second was Peterson's Farm a great spot for kids as you can pet and feed the animals and learn about beekeeping and their specialty, honey. Crane melons are a melon-cantaloupe cross. It's a thick-skinned, teardrop-shaped, hold-it-in-the-palm-of-your-hand melon. This variety is exceptionally juicy and flavorful, but very hard to find outside of Sonoma County, California due to its rather fragile composition. In the 1920s, Oliver Crane planted a Japanese melon that had a reputation for growing well, unirrigated, in the adobe soils common in the Santa Rosa area. Four generations of the Crane family have raised these melons. During the 1990s the family lost their fight to restrict the legal use of "Crane" to only those melons grown on their farm. Crane melons have been marked for preservation under Slow Food's The Ark project. This preservation effort seeks to save social and cultural heritage, animal breeds, fruit and vegetables, cured meats, cheese, cereals, pastas, cakes and confectionery. I'd like to be on this boat of biodiversity for 40 days! The Cook's Thesaurus provides an overview with pictures of the various types of melons. Many don't know that melons are in the same gourd family as squashes and cucumbers. This does explain why melons have similar structure to winter squash with thick flesh and an inner seed-filled middle section. Here in the United States, cantaloupes are typically...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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