A great surprise today, when one of my greenhouse's former inmates graduated to become a fully fledged Minnesota Midget.
As mentioned in a previous post I had initially started growing both Sweetheart and Minnesota Midget varieties of cantaloupe melon, but it soon became apparent that the midgets were going to be troublemakers. Only 3 seedlings of each variety actually managed to make it as far as potting up and the midgets were fidgety and prone to fits from the start. It was always too cold or too hot and humid for them, bloody irritating little sods. Thus they were eventually packed of to live with my gran in her sunroom.
My gran has a well earned reputation for being able to turn around troublesome and/or sickly plants, and get them back on the straight and narrow. She probably has them balancing books on their heads and listening to radio 3. Whatever, it works. She turned up today with the first ripe specimen and considering they are only supposed to grow to cricket ball size she had worked some sort of fruit based miracle.
Weighing in at 502g or just under one pound, two ounces and measuring exactly 12" in circumference it was no wonder that it had impatiently detached itself from the vine - thus declaring itself 'well ripe'. The sweetheart I picked the other day had no discernible aroma until I cut it open, but you could tell that the midget was obviously ripe from across the room (taken out of context that sentence could sound like the twisted confession of a serial killer, or the opening line to my great and as yet unwritten novel).
On all counts this surpassed the retrospectively shabby sweetheart, as for flavour it was of course the best melon I think I've ever eaten. I suspect I may have to delegate the growing of melons to gran next year as obviously her sunroom is better suited to the nurturing of recalcitrant youths than my asylum for bad seeds.
NB. I bought my Minnesota Midget seeds from the brilliant real seed catalogue - I might give 'Collective Farm Woman' a go next year, bigger melons (if the photo is anything to go by fnarr, fnarr.)