Let me tell you about this rare and AMAZING fruit we are growing this year. I was super hesitant to grow it because from all the info out there, I heard it tasted like cantaloupe or honeydew and while I absolutely LOVE fruit, I despise cantaloupe. The only reason I took a chance on this is because Kaliah loves cantaloupe so I figured I'd plant just one plant for her. Personal sized melons, not a massive plant, from what I read fairly easy to grow....why not!? Right? I am so soooo glad I did! I love planting rare, unusual, and or endangered heirlooms. We have a grand variety of foods in our garden that you would not find in a grocery store or even a local farmers market. This is one that will be growing every year from here on out.
Let me introduce you to Sakata Sweet Melon.
This is an Asian variety of melon from Japan. It has a very high sugar content so it is naturally very sweet. I can attest to that! More on that in a moment....let me first tell you about growing them.
When I first planted them in mid-spring, they conked out on me. I figured it was meant to be so I wasn't going to plant another but something in me decided to. I tried again, and once again they conked out. For sure that was it. I was done. But then early summer I wanted to fill in some spaces and said eh, why not. I'll try one last time. This time, they took off! It was super hot out by then so I assume they just really like the heat. Next year we will just start them in early summer to avoid loss and headache.
The vines are not massive. They do sprawl or trellis but they don't take up a ton of real estate and will politely work around other plants in the area. We have had no issues with pests or disease with these plants. They were a little slow to start putting out fruit but once they started they became very generous.
We harvested one today and have about 10 more on the plant right now. The plant still has a lot of life left in it so I assume it will continue to produce for a while.
Now, about the flavor. You can harvest these fruits when they just begin to ripen, like the color of the one I posted in the first picture above. It has a creamy color to it. It went from green to a slight greenish-yellowish or maybe a creamy white color. Basically, it was no longer green. You can harvest it just like this or you can wait for it to get more yellow color to it. It will never get fully yellow, it will always be a creamy color with just a bit of yellow streaking in it.
I harvested it just as it was beginning to ripen because from my research it tasted more like a pear or apple. At first bite, I thought wow! This tastes just like a super sweet apple! It was crisp, juicy, same texture as a sweet crisp apple, and the same flavor. After the second bite (as I got closer to the seed sack in the center) it tasted more like a very sweet pear with just a hint of melon in there. It was fabulous! I think this is my preferred stage to harvest since I don't care for honeydew and despise cantaloupe but for the sake of trying it (and for seed saving purposes), I will let one fully mature on the vine and taste it.
It has enough meat to it to make it worthy of eating, and the skin, while crisp, is totally edible so you can bite into this like an apple. There are a lot of seeds in the center sack as you see from the pictures above. The seeds at this stage were fully developed and we will save them for sales on our Etsy shop. We sell all of our favorites in our shop so if you are looking for plants or seeds, check us out! The link is below.
This was a wonderful breakfast treat for us here at Kindred Acres. I highly recommend you try this melon! It is delicious!
If you've had Sakata Sweet Melon before, please leave us a comment about your opinion on these! We'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!
With lots of love
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