Members of the genus Cucumis, or a few particular members of the cucurbit family, are considered specialty melons. Their fruits can be enormous, have distinctive flavors, and sell for a premium price. These melons provide a different option from the generic “market variety” melons that are typically offered. Specialty melons were chosen mostly for flavor, whereas common melons were chosen for their capacity to be delivered across vast distances. They can therefore comᴍᴀɴd higher pricing despite having a shorter shelf life.
A grower has the opportunity to make more money while using less space and resources by growing speciality melons. The majority of these melons are heirloom cultivars that may be produced organically with minimal inputs and no synthetic chemicals. However, a large increase in labor costs is the price to pay for lower input costs and increased profitability.
Melons are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also contains squash and cucumbers. Although melons have been discovered in ancient Cʜɪɴᴀ, Eɢʏᴘᴛ, and Iʀᴀɴ, Africa is the region with the most diversity, followed by Cʜɪɴᴀ and Iɴᴅɪᴀ. In the desert and savanna regions of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, southwestern Asia, and Aᴜsᴛʀᴀʟɪᴀ, wild melons have been reported. The ROᴍᴀɴs cultivated melons, and it’s thought that European varieties spread through conquering. Cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are the three most widely consumed melon varieties.
When the stem can be pulled away from some melon varieties, such as honeydew, Canary, Spanish, and Crenshaw, the fruit is already overripe. These need to be taken off the vine. Melons should be kept at 45–50°F (7–10°C) and 80% relative humidity for two to four weeks while ripe netted melons should be kept at or near freezing.
The melon should be smelled to determine its ripeness; a stronger aromatic smell indicates ripeness and good flavor. Melons can be “thumped” with knuckles or an open hand to gauge their ripeness; if the sound is too high, the melon is not yet ripe enough; if it is too low, it is overripe. The ideal sound should be rich and hollow. Sensible rind A little “give” is preferable; melons that are overly rigid or soft should be avoided.
Cantaloupe, Casaba, Crenshaw, Galia, Hami, Honeydew, Juan Canary, Orange-flesh Honeydew, Sharlyn, and Santa Claus Melon are typical melon cultivars. Asian melons are also becoming more well-known. These melons are typically found in Korea and other Asian nations. They are small, oblong, fairly sweet, and have crunchy wʜɪᴛe flesh.
Concentrating on melon types that are less common may be more beneficial for the market gardener or small grower. For instance, Asian melons are only starting to gain traction on the American market. These Asian melons, like the Sun Jewel melons that are becoming popular among gardeners and farmers of speciality crops, are less sweet than the melons often found on supermarket shelves. They are bright lemon-yellow, oblong fruits that are 7 inches by 312 inches. The pale flesh is solid, even crisp or crunchy, and has a pleasant flavor. Some buyers may be sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇd by their vibrant appearance after mistaking them for squash!
Let’s see Amazing Agriculture Technology: Melon Cultivation and Harvesting – Santa Claus Melon,Cantaloupe in the amazing video below.
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Video resource: Noal Farm