Monday, June 27, 2011

Nanci's Cantalope and other interesting things

Jeannie Berg found out about Pike melons. This is a cantaloupe developed for the Willamette Valley by Oregon State University many years ago. It fell out of use as is has no shelf life. It will spoil within two days after picking and it must be picked ripe.

She researched and found that the seeds for this delicious melon were available from a supplier in South Carolina. Early in 2011 Jeannie was featured in an article in the Statesman Journal and she talked about the seeds.

A few weeks later she received a two single-spaced hand typed letter from a gentleman who lived here in Salem, had developed the melon with Pike and had been growing the melons for years and saving the precious seeds. He sent her 2 pounds of his seeds with directions on growing them successfully here in the Valley.

Jeannie started seeds in her green house and when the warmer weather finally came to the valley she planted starts on her farm. Once they have grown Jeannie will have some melons for sale at the Salem Farmers Market or at

the Independence Market

later this summer. Those lucky people that have one of Jeannie’s CSA shares will get some also.

Today Jeannie is planting two here in my garden.

We put egg shell pieces around the plants to retard slugs and compost from the composter for additional nutrients.

Earlier this Spring we folded wax paper hats for the Pike Melon exactly as suggested by our local mentor.

I am looking forward to a good melon or more. I am hoping for melons like one grown by my father in Illinois.

Janita’s seed ball…Janita gave me one of her seed balls, a gift from one of her SLP’s. Here is the result, so far. June 27.

In other garden news I have a very small tomato given to me by a co-worker, Amy. She got this from the Salem Harvest group. I was attracted to the purple leaves. Both Jeannie and Jayme (the tomato expert) explained that this was due to a lack of magnesium. The fix was to put a teaspoon of Epsom salts in a quart of water and “feed” it to the plant.

Two doses and I no longer have purple leaves, but a happy plant.

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