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Montreal Market Melon (1870s)

Product Description
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(a.k.a. Montreal Melon, Montreal Nutmeg) Although W. Atlee Burpee discovered this melon in 1880 at the St. Anne's Market in Montreal, the melon had been grown many years prior to this in the Montreal area. The melon's roots can be traced back to the early French settlers. The melons that they brought to Montreal were crossed with many types over the years, including the Cavaillon Melon and the Giant Green Nutmeg and by the 1870's the Montreal Melon had become the large and flavorful variety that made it so famous. The Montreal Melon was widely grown on the western edge of Montreal, between the St. Lawrence River and Mount Royal. This area was a micro-climate that allowed the melons to grow to their full potential. There were many families in this area that grew the Montreal Melon, each family's strain was slightly different. There were two main strains, the Decarie Family Strain and the Gorman Family Strain. The Decarie Strain was large and round; the Gorman strain was more oval. Both had exquisite taste. Montreal Market Melons were shipped as far away as New York and sold for top dollars at fancy restaurants. It became the most popular melon in Canada and New England. It remained popular for decades but after the Second World War it began to disappear. After the 1920's, the melon farms and the rich agricultural land began to be replaced by urban expansion. The Montreal Market Melon almost became extinct. It was thought lost until a few very old seeds were found in a seed bank maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1995. From these few seeds the Montreal Market Melon was saved from the brink of extinction. Montreal Market melons can grow up to 10 lbs. under optimum conditions but most of mine were much smaller, averaging about 4-5 lbs. The flesh is green and very delicious if picked at its prime. A very productive strain that matures quite early for a melon of this size. (85 days)

20 seeds per packet.

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