Melons

 

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit. -Archibald MacLeish 

Although there are about 250 types of melons currently being cultivated around the world, virtually all of the varieties you find with seeds in the center are descended from the same ancient musk melon whose origin was the Fertile Crescent, or what we now call the Middle East.

Melons are desert plants, so the best way to grow them is to use dry-farming techniques. This is no simple process. It means cultivated the soil deeply in the spring, a process too costly for most small farmers. Still, by planting in the early spring while the ground remains damp, and watering perhaps only once or twice during the entire growing season, a wise and water-thrifty farmer can urge the melon’s tap root to reach deeper into the earth for moisture. The technique, which effects a sensual delight through a sustainable practice, can be applied to many crops.

Unfortunately, most commercial growers still use frequent applied watering methods and as a result tend to create water-logged melons that never attain the sugar-levels of a fully ripened, dry-farmed fruit. Worse still, these commercial melons are picked well before maturity in order to facilitate long-distance shipping.

Its important to remember that melons unlike some other fruit, don’t continue to ripen once they are harvested.So it is only by culling melons directly from the field or farmers market that you stand any real chance of experiencing the joy of a fully ripe melon. 

watermelon


 Watermelon Gazpacho

1 red bell pepper finely diced
1 green pepper finely diced
1 yellow pepper finely diced
1 small red onion finely diced
1 cucumber seeded and diced
1 green apple seeded & quartered
4 green onions, trimmed
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 a big seedless watermelon,
(about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions: Coarsely chop together the diced peppers, onions, and cilantro. Slice the green onion into 1-inch lengths. Then, using a food processor, pulse the peppers, onions and cilantro a few times but do not puree. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Chop up the apples and cucumbers separately and add them to the bowl. Chop half the watermelon flesh into small cubes and add it to the bowl. Process the remainder in a blender before adding it to the bowl. Stir in both of the vinegars, the olive oil, and the salt. Chill before serving.