Part I: A Maryland Melon

Moving along into January, I start to get excited. It's time to gather the gear for seed starting next month and order the seeds to start!

Seed starting is a passion, because it's so much fun and it's inexpensive, once the heating mats and thermostats are purchased. January is the time to sort through things to make sure everything is working and ready. It's important to allow plenty of time if ordering through the mail is necessary, because, believe me, you won't be the only one with the idea.

I shared some seed starting posts in 2010 that are still available for reference. These give the basics and some have videos to make things easier. There are five posts: #1 Time for Spring Planting; #2 Planning Food Growing Spaces; #3 Selecting What Seeds to Plant; #4 How to Germinate Seeds with What Equipment and #5 When to Plant Seeds Where You Live.

It was in looking through heirloom, organic seed catalogs, that I found a treasure. A seed of an unusual melon, called the Anne Arundel Melon, that almost had become lost, although it was a big commercial crop on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the 1700s. Through the efforts of Seed Savers Exchange,  and other companies intent on mantaining our planet's biodiversity, the melon has come back and is not as rare now, as it once was. Here is the entry from Thomas Jefferson's home, Montecello, in Virginia where great numbers of historical plant species are cultivated and maintained.


The Montecello catalog relates, "The Anne Arundel muskmelon was grown in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, as early as 1731. Anne Arundel appears to be a cross between a smooth skinned cantaloupe and a nutmeg-shaped muskmelon. It has a sweet, green flesh with a flavor similar to honeydew varieties, a nutmeg shape like other 18th century melons, and, when ripe, a golden yellow skin. Seed for this melon was obtained from food historian, William W. Weaver. " For more information or to purchase, go visit the Montecello web site found here.

So who was Anne Arundel? There is a County in Maryland named Anne Arundel County. According to the Anne Arundel Community College web site, "Little is known about the short life of Anne Arundel. She was born in 1605, the daughter of a powerful Catholic nobleman, Thomas, Lord Arundel. She was only thirteen when she married Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. To read more about her, go here.


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