I think that is what you call success…

We shall feast like kings!  Kings of a very small country

We shall feast like kings! Kings of a very small country

Finally after years of attempting to grow melons – I have succeeded.  Admittedly they are on the small side – the very small side and if you compare it to a shop bought one they look like ping pong balls beside bowling balls.  But I grew them so they are perfect!  And this time, when sliced in half they actually looked like what they should, and the aroma was delightful… just like real ones.

And to taste…  yummo!  Although we only got a bite of each of the melons as they had to go around Hubby the Un-Gardener, the Joeyosaurus and Tim the Helper and me.  I skewed the slicing to ensure I got the biggest bits, but I grew them… so there!  But the sweet taste of success is melon flavoured and it is good!

Just like a bought one... only in miniature!

Just like a bought one… only in miniature!

After all the excitement of the last few days had died down – for the moment, I was finally able to get to my poor neglected garden and was pleased to say it had faired quite well without me, although it was a little thirsty.  Who knows when this drought will break?  The boffins say there will be “a couple of showers” on Saturday, but that is hardly likely to undo all the damage of months without rain.  My extended forecast report only goes as far as April 5th there is a few showers described as “a shower”, “perhaps a shower” and “a shower possible!”  They have also selected a couple of days to have “a little rain.”  What we need is a down pour – for days on end.  My ground is beginning to lose it and its cracking up.  It may need some kind of therapy!

Bring on the taco chips and a dollop of sour cream.....

Bring on the taco chips and a dollop of sour cream…..

The chillies and peppers seem to love the conditions as they are prolific and of good quality with nice thick walls and are crunchier than a fresh apple.  Now that is something I didn’t get a lot of – the bloomin’ pukekos (NZ native swamp hens) have stolen all the eating apples and pears.  Grrr.  They don’t seem to like Granny Smiths or Cooking Apples – so far.  Maybe next year there will be enough for us all.

The other thing I tackled was the beans.  I planted loads of different kinds, but I must have been having some kind of irrational moment because we don’t actually like beans all that much and they just end up in the freezer un-eaten.  I did have a degree of common sense about my bean planting as half of them were dried beans – like kidney beans for those winter chilli con carnes, and haricots and pinks and a range of others that I don’t actually know how to use them – but things like that don’t stop me.

They should be ok....  hopefully

They should be ok…. hopefully

The rest were ‘fresh’ eating beans – only we didn’t and they ended up just as dried as they ones that were supposed to be dried.  So I picked the lot and spent a lovely evening shelling them all into a big dish.  I should really separate them into ones that look the same, in case some taste better than others and then I’ll know which was which.  Having said that I don’t actually know if ‘fresh’ beans can be treated like ‘dry’ ones.  I have assumed so because if they are edible in their young stage – I don’t imagine they will become poisonous overnight.  If I am wrong – please some one STOP me from feeding them to my family…  I reckon you’ve have about a month or two to save my family from impending doom if I’m misguided, because by then it will be cool enough outside to crave a nice bowl of hot beans – once I find out the best way to use them.

Oh I do know about the pre-soaking-tummy-ache-avoiding bit of dried bean prep… it’s just what you do next that I’m unsure of… but that has never stopped me before…  I’ll give it a whirl and whip something yummy up!

To dig or not to dig...

To dig or not to dig…

Come again soon – I still have to pick the tomatoes and does anyone know when I should dig up my peanuts?

Cheers  Sarah  : o )

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28 Comments on “I think that is what you call success…

  1. I’m super jealous of you melons. I have yet to be successful in growing them. Love the post AND inspiration! Thanks!!

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    • Hi Emily. Maybe I should start a trend of “designer” mini melons for those of us who struggle to get full sized ones! Keep trying – I think this was my 4th or 5th attempt so there is always hope!
      Thanks for your kind words.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Thanks, they were really yummy – maybe next year I should either aim for loads more little ones or keep trying for that elusive normal sized melon!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Melons are tough. I got my first success with them last summer after almost throwing in the towel. They were small just as yours were, but delicious. If one of us figures out the secret to growing big melons I am sure we will read about it on one of our blogs. As far as the beans go, we don’t grow fresh for eating beans. The last time I attempted them, I was lured in by these beautiful purple pods. I was pregnant, and even the smell of them made me sick. I couldn’t even bring myself to harvest them. I do enjoy growing the dried variety and I have read in the catalogues that many varieties can be harvested in their green stage or dried. I think you are safe!

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    • Hi there, thanks for your reassurance about the beans. I was going to try them any way. Maybe get Hubby the Un-Gardener to try them first – he’s my unwitting guinea pig!
      Its funny what being pregnant does to your relationship with food – I went off the smell of chicken with one kid and the other gave me a Big Mac craving – I couldn’t get enough!
      I think next season I’ll leave the melon plants in the greenhouse a little longer before planting them out as they seemed to take longer to recover from the shock than other plants and I think it may have been too cold.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. As ever, i find the internet a wonderful place for finding out what to do with edible things I’m not familiar with! when in doubt, Google it!
    Christine

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    • Hi Christine. The internet is indeed a wonderful place.. I saw a recipe for bread that used dried beans… looked interesting – I may have to give it a whirl!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. I’ve tried melons a few times and have now given up. I can get them to grow but then the worms get them. Kind of gross and they end up on the compost pile. So we’ve moved on! 🙂

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    • Hi there. Some years I find myself planting the same things over again, despite the fact they were a failure – or we didn’t actually like them. I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I just need to look for cool new things to take their spots in the garden.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  5. I didn’t even TRY growing melons this year. Aside from the heartbreak that the possums inflicted on me when they left my developing pumpkins to grow to a specific size unmolested till they predated the lot one night (including the leaves!) I didn’t think that any sweet melon would have the time to ripen through our “short growing season”…I was wrong on 2 counts. I saw rockmelons growing beautifully on a vine yesterday when we were walking the dogs. I had to stop dead still (difficult with a 35kg tractor hell bent on forging ahead on the end of your lead…) and rub my eyes (also difficult with Earl…) when I saw them… “Steve…pinch me!”. Yup…rockmelons growing in our local district! “Well blow me down!” ;). We have had our own peculiar drought this year and it would normally be pelting down raining now and it’s dry, hot and particularly soul sapping. I COULD HAVE GROWN ROCKMELONS! I could have grown watermelons! Gourds! Probably tropical fruit! In fact I DID grow tropical fruit. I tossed my mango seeds from my breakfast smoothies into the compost and have 3 babies growing in the compost heap (that I am going to dig up and pot up and put into the glasshouse over winter…fool me once! 😉 ). I bow to your melon growing genius girl. You get horticultural kudos points to the max 🙂
    Both rock AND honeydew melons? Now I am past giving you kudos and am in full blown envy! We have native swamp hens here but no self respecting swam hen is going to venture up our driveway to a house that barks and is swarming with feral cats…so for the moment we are safe from their ministrations (although apparently the feral cats and the possums have some sort of deal on to leave each other alone 😦 ).
    A lot of dried beans have different cooking times but if you make a big pot of chilli or soup etc. you shouldn’t have too much trouble with them :). You can make gorgeous hummus from dried beans, you can even cook them and put them into cakes and muffins…beans are my best mate as a vegan :). I grew some this year BUT again the possums did their thing and hung and clung from every available space on the bird netting I foolishly used to protect them (oh how my pride took a tumble!). The festooned my beans at night like baubles on a Christmas Tree and ate my bean foliage down to a cube. I let the beans dry and will plant them in a heavily fortified fortress against the natives come the new year! Fenugreek and asafoetida are great for reducing (often eliminating) those beany results ;). Small boys LOVE the effects though and they can render them “falling off chairs” with laughter so you might want to remember that when you are trying to minimise their effects 😉
    Where did you source your peanuts? I really want to grow some! Please let me know 🙂 Not sure when you dig them but just googled and saw “130 – 150 days after planting” and “if the plants have yellowed up and lost most of their leaves” so my guess is that your babies are still in their prime and have a ways to go before being uprooted. I am SO excited to see what you get! 🙂

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    • Hi Fran. Trying to grow an elusive crop like melons is never easy especially when the weather is so inconsistent. Last summer was the wettest since some record or other began and this year is the driest! How are you supposed to learn through experience in these conditions?
      Thanks for the advice about the peanuts. They are just raw ones from the supermarket. There is loads of cool things you can grow from the supermarket – my popcorn is a great success – chickpeas not so much…. Shopping with my garden goggles on is eye opening, You just have to give it a whirl!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Excellent tip re the popcorn! I am going to buy some raw peanuts (in their shell?) and popcorn to try here 🙂

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  6. Hooray! I had my first (mini) melon success this past season after many attempts myself. So rewarding, isn’t it?

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    • Hi there. Anything that comes straight out of the garden always tastes so much better… I wonder how much of the flavour is freshness and how much is pride. (deserved pride)
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  7. Congratulations!!! My melons are always pretty small too but they do taste much better than store bought ones. The dried beans sound so cool I can’t wait to hear what you do with them!

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    • Hi there. It seems melons aren’t all that easy to grow. I feel a lot better now about my struggle with them – but you are right – they taste good and are so worth it!
      Still not quite sure what I’ll do with the beans.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  8. Even here in Atlanta, GA I have a hard time growing melons. Glad to know I’m not alone no matter where my fellow gardeners are. I have yet to master cantaloupes. I did finally get some medium sized watermelons one year. Your success is encouraging so I’m going to try again this year. Also, thanks for mentioning the kidney beans. Don’t know why I didn’t think about planting those as we love chili.

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    • Hi There. I have come to see that melons are actually tricky to grow – all over the world! So I don’t feel so bad about my inability to grow large ones. Having said that I’ll keep trying to grow shop sized ones.
      I can’t wait for a cold winter day to do justice to a heart warming bowl of chilli.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  9. Hi Sarah! Congrats on your fantastic success! I was a fellow Yates blogger in the last season (Butterbean) – LOVED it and looking forward to the next one! I grew peanuts last summer and a photo of my very modest crop was in the NZ Gardener Potatoes and other Rootcrops Special Edition mag. My grandfather grew them in Mt Maunganui in the 1940’s and I’m keen to carry the tradition on. My crop this year is very dismal as I didn’t add the sand to the plot I put aside for them but I’m planning on lifting them soon as they’re starting to look bedraggled! Googling was very handy (as suggested) on tips for growing and harvesting. All the best with your exciting ventures, good on you and I’ll definitely enjoy reading all about it if I pick up a copy of your book! Melissa

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    • Hi Melissa. So good to hear from you. I hope your garden is faring well with the drought, especially as so much effort went into setting it up in the spring.
      My peanuts are looking really healthy at the moment, but you never know what a crop will be like until you dig it up. It’s like root crops are a bit secretive and all you can do is hope!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  10. I tried to grow melons over summer too. Mine looked a little like yours – small. But unfortunately mine were tasteless. 😦 But it’s sure fun trying isn’t it?

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    • Hi there. There is always next year… and the one after that and the one after that. Mine were tasteless last year and this year they were OK. I’m hoping next year they will be awesome! Can only but try! Good luck with your melons next time.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  11. Pingback: I bought a melon plant ….. | The Land Rover Owners Wife

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