Heirloom Watermelon
Moon and Stars
Photo: David MacTavish, Moon and Stars, Hutchinson Farm, August 28, 2011
Grown at Hutchinson Farm since the 2011. Available late August to mid September, 2013.

Citrullus lanatus

In 2010 I was leafing through the Seed Savers Exchange catalog, thinking to myself that watermelon sure have changed since I was a kid growing up in the 1970's. I remembered summers eating mouthwatering (literally) watermelon, not to mention the childhood joy of spitting seeds off the deck. Watermelon sure have changed. Now they're seedless, and along with the seeds the flavour that I remember has gone as well. You may as well have a glass of water instead! Thanks to seed savers and the heirloom seed movement, many of the old great tasting varieties are available once again. We now grow an assortment of different watermelon, some classic, some exotic, all with great flavour, and a story to tell!
  • In Season
    Early August - mid September.

  • Purchasing Tips
    It is darned near impossible to tell from the outside how good a watermelon will be on the inside. In the field, size, rind colour, resting spot colour, knocking, tendril die-back, and historic ETA's, point us in the right direction, but we rely on good old slicing and tasting. On the inside a perfect melon will have fully developed seeds (heirlooms only; hybrids? good luck!) Watch for translucent flesh around the seeds, an indication the melon is over-ripe.

  • Storing at home
    Melons that are to be consumed the day you buy them can be left on your counter, otherwise they should keep in the refrigerator. All melons should be washed with soap and water before slicing them open.

  • Cultivars

    Blacktail Mountain
    Blacktail Mountain
    Named for Blacktail Mountain in Idaho, this variety was created from a quest for a watermelon that could reliably mature in the chilly mountain climate of Idaho. Not only is it an early season melon, it is so good that melon guru Amy Goldman uses it as her taste reference. An inspiration to all seed breeders, this watermelon was bred by Glenn Drowns, a teenager.
    Chris Cross
    Chris Cross
    A cross by Chris Chistenson of the varieties Hawksbury and Dixie Queen, in Montrose Iowa, 1950. Beautiful green striped skin, pink flesh.

    Cream of Saskatchewan
    Not available 2013 Although the origin is unknown, it is believed it was brought to Saskatchewan by Russian immigrants. First documented in 1984, this delightful watermelon has white flesh, and full flavour. Handle with care, the rind is very thin!
    Moon and Stars
    Moon and Stars
    Moon and Stars is the poster child of the heirloom seed movement. First introduced in 1926, this unique watermelon all but vanished until it was "re-discovered" by Kent Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange, after a 30 year search, growing in Merle Van Doren's garden near Macon, Missouri. A visual feast for the eyes, superb flavour for the palette.
    It looks like a normal watermelon from the outside, but inside, the orange flesh is breathtaking. Cracking of the flesh at the centre ("hollow heart") is typical. First offered by the Willhite Seed Company in the 1980's, a customer favourite.

    Petite Yellow
    Not available 2013

  • Preserve
    Melons are best eaten fresh.

  • Classic Recipe
    Nothing is better than a slice of melon on a hot summer's day!

  • Favourite Recipes
    Watermelon soup