Garden, Plant, Cook!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Let me tell you the story of the Bradford Watermelon Scar.

Dear Folks,

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you know I planted and have harvested a couple of Bradford Watermelons, and heirloom "discovered" several years ago growing in the backyard of the original grower's heirs.

To say this watermelon variety is worth every effort to grow it, is an understatement. The fruit, even under-ripe is incredibly sweet -- all the way through the white rind -- just amazing.  (You can use the white rind as you would a cucumber.)

Pictured is the comparison of the scar when we first discovered the damage and after harvesting the fruit.  Don't let the ugly appearance of the scar fool you, it is the same kind of damage branches rubbing on a growing fruit produces.  The fruit 'sealed' and 'healed' -- this is the story.  For the purpose of this collage, I flipped the harvest scar to show you the orientation.  The scar never changed - never got worse, only grew in proportion to the growing fruit.

You can read the my other posts here on my growing adventures.

First Bradford Harvest

Second harvest and I dropped it!

So on to the last Bradford Watermelon harvest of the year, November 27th we noticed the vine had suddenly collapsed. Time to harvest the remaining viable watermelon.

This one had a special place in my garden journey.  After discovering the fruit under some vine on October 12th, I placed a paper plate under it to protect from the soil-born bacteria which can rot the fruit.

4 days later we spotted damage to the fruit by a squirrel.  The little stinker had shown up rather suddenly and contemporaneously discovered our fruit!

We discussed the 'nature' of the damage and determined it was literally only skin deep, so I decided to let it continue growing - now with a chicken wire hat to protect it, and it worked perfectly.  (Check out my youtube channel for a couple of short videos on using chicken wire hats.)

When we notice the vine had collapsed on November 27th I harvested the last melon, the one with the scar.  Pictured you can see how much it had grown.

In the early pictures I was amazed at just how fast it was growing.  The first picture showing when we discovered the fruit and I slipped a paper plate under it, for ratios the plate is 9 inches wide, and the fruit is about 7 inches long.  4 days later the fruit was as long as the width of the plate.

When I harvested it using my hand and the subsequent baking tray I have the cut melon on, the fruit had reached about 15 inches long.

After I started cutting the melon I remembered the scar and took a photo to illustrate the original work of the squirrel and not invaded the fruit and merely remained a scar on the outside.  Not pictured clearly is that the scar thickened outside not inside the skin.

So really ugly scar amazingly delicious fruit, even slightly under-ripe.  It could have probably gone another couple of weeks, but I did not want to chance it since the vine had collapsed.

I will have seeds from the earlier and possibly this fruit in my seedbank.

. . .

>> eBundle coming in January - Watch for updates as they become available -- the eBundle will be available for one week only <<

Have a great weekend in the garden and kitchen!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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