Last year they had a drought and a poor crop and weren’t selling the seeds and I just had to wait.
But guess what I just got in the mail. They even came with two empty seed packets to save your own in later. If you want heritage varieties, this is definitely a heritage variety: a soft-shelled watermelon that was the best-selling one of the 1800s and considered the sweetest.
Until the arrival of the railroads induced breeding that was shipping-centric at the expense of flavor (sounds like tomatoes) and the market bottomed out for these.
Just this one family kept growing their ancestors’ variety, 170 years on their land. They got discovered. It had been thought to be extinct.
They say they get an average of one watermelon per plant. How many gallons of California water to grow a single one? I’m not sure I want to know but I know I want to try. Re saving the seeds, they can cross-breed with any squash plants that might be around and although that might make for some really odd and curious future food I’m not sure I’m that adventurous. Half Bradford and half zucchini? Wait–it IS intriguing… Baseball bat size for the win! (Yeah, but.)
I’ve got almost a year to figure out how I’m going to keep the critters from eating them.
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