Monday, September 27, 2010

9/27/10 Harvest - First Cantaloupe

Lupe the Cantaloupe has finally arrived in time for this week's Harvest Monday!  In case you haven't read my previous cantaloupe posts, Lupe is the first melon from the first melon plant that I grew from a seed from a random supermarket cantaloupe.  It's been exactly three months since I sowed this seed outside, and Lupe was finally ready to be harvested this weekend.  She weighed in at just over 2 lbs, so she was fairly small for a cantaloupe, but Keith and I were nonetheless really excited about our first successful melon harvest.

Even though this melon smelled like a perfectly ripe melon on the outside (what a difference a week makes), I was still a bit anxious as I cut it in half.  What if it doesn't look right?  As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about because this was one ripe melon!  It may have been even a day or two overripe, but it was still very sweet, juicy and overall delicious.

Since the weather has been cooling down and the night time lows are more consistently falling down to the 40s, I'm not holding out much hope that we'll be able to harvest many more Jelly Bean tomatoes.  It's a little sad to see all those flower clusters and half-sized tomatoes that won't have time to grow to their full potential this year, but I keep reminding myself that these plants were started very late in the season (seeds were sown in early July) for experimental purposes, and any harvestable tomato is just a blessing.

I harvested all the ripe ones plus all the others that showed any hint of changing color.  Hopefully these green ones will ripen indoors.  There are still many more smaller green ones on the plants.  I'll let them go another week and see if I can get any more ripe or semi-ripe ones next week.  

I've noticed that these Jelly Bean tomatoes come in all different sizes (not sure if they are designed that way, or if the smaller fruits were just too stressed), with the smallest ones just a smidgen bigger than the size of real jelly beans.  As I mentioned last week, these tomatoes seem to be a bit on the thick-skinned side, but they are still very sweet and delicious.

I also harvested a few more cayenne peppers from our outdoor pepper plants whose days are probably numbered at this point.

These cayenne peppers just don't show any signs of turning red, but I'm going to just let them be and see if they will ripen and turn red indoors like tomatoes.  Otherwise, we can use them green, since these peppers pack plenty of heat as is.

Keith and I spent all weekend doing hard labor expanding our vegetable garden for next year.  This is a pretty big project for us and will require several more sweaty weekends, but I'm really looking forward to having more and better garden space next year to grow more of our own food.  Stay tuned for our drawings and designs for the new garden!  I'll post them later this week or next, as soon as I figure out how to convert my design documents to a picture format.


Sherri B. said...

I am so excited for you that it all turned out as you hoped it would. How smart you are to get a head start on the garden for next year, good for you.

Annie's Granny said...

Yay for Lupe! Did you save her seeds?

thyme2garden said...

Sherri B - Thank you! It really is nice when something in the garden actually turns out the way I hoped it would.

* * * * *
Granny - I sure did! I'd be more than happy to share them if you're interested in growing Lupe babies for next year.

Annie's Granny said...

Well, of course! Lupe babies must take over the earth! I'm game to try them in the PNW!

meemsnyc said...

Oooh, nice cantaloupe. You inspired me to save some supermarket cantaloupe seeds. I have to try this!

Anonymous said...

Lupe looks perfect! It was worth waiting for it.
This time of year, I would say that any home grown tomato is perfect. Those small ones look like candies.

I am looking forward to see pictures of new design of your garden.

GrafixMuse said...

Oh, I am so excited to see Lupe in your Harvest Monday post! So glad it was delicious too.

I can't wait to see your garden expansion plans!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Nice juicy melon. I think some of the peppers will turn red for you. Ours turn red indoors in winter.

Erin said...

congrats on that melon, it looks great! I got so tired of waiting for my peppers to turn this year, I ripped them out!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on Lupe. What fun and what a good way to get seeds! I look forward to seeing more on your garden expansion.

villager said...

I'll bet the cantaloupe was very tasty. And better to be a bit overripe than not ripe enough!

~Holly~ said...

Looks like a great harvest week for you! Looks like you've grown the perfect Lupe! Those Jelly Bean tomatoes are cute!!

Angela said...

Congratulations on your cantaloupe! There is nothing more satisfying that your first ripe melon.

I find that all varieties of tomatoes produce fruit in a large size range. Maybe it is the very variable weather we have here, but they all do it for me. Your's look very sweet and delicious.

Dan Owen said...

Poor Lupe is gone but not forgotten. Hey if you make melons from the seed, will the next melon be called Son of Lupe. That would be cool!

balcony/paradise said...

Congratulations on expanding the garden!!!
Lupe seems just perfectly ripe! What a nice color! I really admire you for growing a cantaloupe. Nobody around here does that (middle europe, zone 6), so I've never tasted a homegrown melon. Hey, but actually, 3 months from seed to harvest doesn't sound too bad, does it?

Daphne said...

I'm glad your melon turned out so well. I keep drooling over everyone's melons. I rarely plant them here as usually the summers are too cold for them to do well (not this summer though).

Robin said...

That is great the Lupe turned out to be a nice Lupe! Your cayennes should turn red in the house. I string mine up and let them dry for cayenne pepper.

Shawn Ann said...

Isn't it satisfying?

And I know! It takes forever for those darn hot peppers to ripen! Makes me want to start them even earlier next year! I am not one for patience!

Mac said...

Congrats on your Lupe, it sure looks nice, bet its fragrant and sweet too.

Dan said...

mm that melon looks good! You should still have time for the peppers & tomatoes. I've picked them well into October in past seasons. As long a jack frost stays away you are all good.

thyme2garden said...

Granny - super! I'll be very interested to know how Lupe babies grow in various parts of the country.

* * * * *
meemsnyc - pick a nice one and I hope you grow some tasty cantaloupes next year!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - In case you weren't familiar, Jelly Beans are candies! I also agree with you about any home grown tomato being perfect this time of the year. :)

* * * * *
GrafixMuse - thank you for following along in Lupe's journey!

* * * * *
Malay-Kadazan girl - I hope our peppers turn red, too. I've heard from several people that they will, but I just need to see it for myself to believe it. :)

* * * * *
Erin - ack, I didn't have the heart to rip out any vegetable plants this year, as this was my first year and I took the wait-and-see approach to just about everything.

* * * * *
Anonymous - thank you for visiting and I hope you come back!

* * * * *
villager - yes, I suppose you're right about overripe being preferable to underripe. It was really one delicious melon!

* * * * *
Holly - Thank you thank you!

* * * * *
Angela - At 2 lbs, this was the biggest single vegetable/fruit to come out of my garden this year, so yes, it was very satisfying!

* * * * *
Dan Owen - Son of Lupe, ha!

* * * * *
balcony/paradise - 3 months isn't bad! If I could grow this melon here in our zone 5b, I'm sure you can do it in your zone 6. You could be the first one in your area to have homegrown melons!

* * * * *
Daphne - this sure was a hot summer for most of us, except for those on the west coast.

* * * * *
Robin - I remember you talking about stringing the peppers up to dry. Mine are just sitting in a small pile right now. I don't think I have enough peppers to bother with stringing them up just yet.

* * * * *
Shawn Ann - Yes, it is! I started my peppers in early July, so I KNOW I can start them earlier next year. Maybe I'll actually have some red cayenne peppers by this time next year!

* * * * *
Mac - thank you! It's nothing compared to the 30+ melons you grew in your garden this summer, but it's a start!

* * * * *
Dan - I hope you're right about peppers and tomatoes having enough time left in the season still. I'm waiting to see when our first frost actually hits. The average is supposed to be between Oct 15-20.

Annie's Granny said...

HA! I have 8 asterisk OCD and you have 5 asterisk OCD. Are we related?


Cheryl said...

I'm so happy that you picked Lupe at just the right time. Your patience was rewarded. (I think Son of Lupe is too cute!)

Ottawa Gardener said...

I've been waiting for the cantelope update. For us northerners, that's a giant melon. Very nice looking.

foodgardenkitchen said...

Wow, congrats on the melon! I'd be interested in trading for a few seeds - contact info is on our blog page if you're interested.

thyme2garden said...

Granny - even if we are OCD-related, I would say that your problem is *far* worse than mine. Well, 60% worse than mine, to be exact. :-)

* * * * *
Cheryl - thank you!

* * * * *
Ottawa Gardener - I didn't think about it in terms of north or south, but you're probably right that it's generally easier to grow larger melons in warmer climates in the south. We did have a heck of a hot summer in Indiana this year, though, so that probably helped.

* * * * *
foodgardenkitchen - thank you! And yes, I would absolutely share some Lupe seeds with you. I'll email you later this fall or winter when I'm a bit more organized with all my seeds?

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