Crane Melon Barn Update
- Melanie Wong Sep 6, 2005 03:59 AM
I've been keeping an eye out for crane melons the last couple weekends and not spotted one yet. So I called the Crane family and learned that the Melon Barn won't be open until OCTOBER this year.
When I visited friends in Occidental late last summer I read an article about Crane melons in Sunset magazine. Chowhound that I am, we jumped into the car and headed for the Crane Melon Barn, only to find it closed. We were able to get one at a produce stand in Santa Rosa. I am glad I got to try it at least one time, it was wonderful.
re: Amy G.
Most years, right about now, Crane melons make an appearance at roadside farmstands and farmers markets. This year's crop is really late.
They are delicious. Actually, when melons manage to ripen in Sonoma County (they often don't in the slightly cooler areas), they have an extra complexity that some say comes from a longer growing season and more hang time. The variety of specialty melons at the Healdsburg farmers market on Saturday was dazzling. But no Cranes.
re: Alexandra Eisler
Actually, I've never been in the barn. It's been closed whenever I'm on that stretch of Petaluma Hill Rd., even when the season should be right. There's a recorded message when you call to check on when it will be open.
Crane Melon Barn
tel. +1 707.795.6987
4947 Petaluma Hill Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Here's a link to my old post on crane melons, dated exactly three years ago.
re: Jim H.
Last year I bought my crane melons at Grossi Farms just down the road from the Melon Barn and on the east side of the street. I was there before the unveiling of a more elaborate roadside stand, so there should be more a structure to spot it now. The proprietress was a hoot. She had a bunch of heritage and French melons that she'd grown from assorted seed. But she didn't know what they were and I helped her identify a few of them. The farm has a calendar of when the diverse crops come into season, and I think the schedule goes into early November, so worth checking out too.
Grossi Farms (organic)
6652 Petaluma Hill Road
Penngrove, CA 94951
Ah, but the Whole Foods in Berkeley doesn't sell them. I did buy one today at Berkeley Bowl. The plans were to head up to Santa Rosa, but got derailed. Maybe next week.
Thanks for the heads-up Melanie. I've been thinking about those melons since I read your post a year ago. Melons, in general seem to be excellent this year. Haven't tried the Crane Melon yet.
Jeez, I haven't been to Whole Foods in Berkeley in years since Berkeley Bowl is so close by. That Whole Foods now offers valet parking.
I've seen Crane Melons for sale off and on since June in Santa Rosa grocery stores. They started to appear at farmer's markets in August - they are around. If you manage to get one try eating slices with squeezes of lemon juice. We were served Crane Melon that way at the 1st Slow Food Fast Food Picnic and it's amazing how much the lemon enhances the flavor. We've visited the Crane Melon Barn a number of times and their melons on average do seem superior to most. Happy Hunting.