This little personal size cantaloupe really caught my eye this summer. I can still hear heirloom grower Ruth Hardy when I asked her if it was worth growing again. As I heard the excitement come over her, she exclaimed, “TONS OF SEED saved! I ate a very ripe one today, OMGoodness! it was something in between cantaloupe and mango, saved more seed.” I would have to say this was a good sign of being a keeper, wouldn't you agree?
Ruth, a native of Guatemala, resides in Southeast Texas. Her heirloom produce is not the only sweet thing going on in this whimsical garden nestled in the woods.
She begins her story by telling us, “Every time I see any seeds from Guatemala, I buy them and try to grow them here.” She spotted some seeds for this Coban Orange Flesh Melon through Bakers Creek Heirloom Seed Company. She continued by saying, “I really did not know if they would grow because our growing conditions are so different.”
Ruth adds, “Cobán is a beautiful town high in the Guatemalan mountains, elevation 4,331 feet, 68°F, and 88% Humidity.
As a side note, Cobán is the capital of the department of Alta Verapaz in central Guatemala. It is located 136 miles from Guatemala City. Guatemala, just like the US, is divided into states, but we call them departamentos.”
Seeing the lush melon vines growing in the gardens raised beds, I notice how each leaf appears pure and unhampered by insects. As well I see numerous flowers beckoning to the bees to collect their pollen.
I can hear the pride in Ruth's voice as she tells us, “I did not fertilize or use any pesticides. Next year I will try a little organic fertilizer, maybe they will grow a little bigger. ”
As I look about, it becomes apparent why everything in this Texas garden is healthy and productive without the need for pesticides. Wildflowers surround the gardens, adorned with handcrafted glass garden stakes from recycled materials. All which share Ruth's love for the wildlife with bounties of butterflies, bees and beneficial insects.
Even more than all of this, one can see the love for Grandson Joshua, who will learn not just about organic gardening from his Grandmother, but his family history through this special historic Melon from Guatemala.
Ruth tells us, “Joshua got so excited to find this cantaloupe! It perched itself on the corner post of the bed and it really likes it there.”
Don't you just love seeing children in the garden! I can see this sweet little melon growing in our garden next season!
Join in the organic and heirloom garden fun! Gardeners such as Ruth, who love sharing and trading heirloom seeds as well as first hand experiences of growing a natural garden. She can be found on facebook at Seed Traders For Future Generations.