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Crane Melons

wolfe Sep 2, 2011 03:17 PM

As with most fruit this year the melons are late, perhaps not until late September. Before you make the drive up please call 707 795 6987 for the current status even though the last time I looked at the website it said they are open they aren't.
Who are you going to believe?

  1. Robert Lauriston Oct 12, 2011 09:47 AM

    The unsplit one we had last night was one of the few good, ripe melons I've found in this area in the past 15-20 years, second only to Tecklenburg / Orozco Garcia. The split melon we bought and ate Saturday was not as good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      TopoTail Oct 15, 2011 05:13 PM

      I've been reading about the Crane Melon Barn on Chowhound for years, and it had assumed a larger-than-life status. Over the years I've had a few really amazing Crane melons, and I had come to believe that the Melon Barn was the melon Mecca.

      Today my wife and I made the drive from Berkeley and bought three small melons from the small supply. The woman said the weather has been even worse than last year, which was the worst year in a long time.

      Anyway, when we got home I set them on the counter and took a plug out of the first one. It was overripe and mealy. So I moved on to melon #2. Overripe and mealy. Number 3 was no different. All three are going into the compost. $7.36 down the drain.

      Crane Melon Barn
      4935 Petaluma Hill Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

      1. re: TopoTail
        Robert Lauriston Oct 16, 2011 11:23 AM

        If you're willing to schlep for a good melon, try Tecklenburg / Orozco Garcia. They go to a farmers market or two in the Sacramento / Citrus Heights area. Not sure if they have a farm stand in Lodi.

    2. Barbara76137 Oct 8, 2011 05:53 PM

      To think that I lived just minutes away from there for two years and NEVER tasted a Crane melon. I lived on Pressley Road. Can you tell me more about the melons?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Barbara76137
        wolfe Oct 8, 2011 06:18 PM

        They smell good, they taste sweet. they are very juicy and unlike melons you get at many places when you get them they are ripe. The ripe are 99 cents a pound, price hasn't changed for a while and as I said theyaresmallish so find what you missed for $2-3. Splits are 69 and still good. We went though 6 at work with very little waste.

      2. Robert Lauriston Oct 8, 2011 12:01 PM

        Open today.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Melanie Wong Oct 8, 2011 04:14 PM

          Friend just text'd me from the barn. Not open right now, sold out.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            wolfe Oct 8, 2011 04:57 PM

            Probably a good idea to go early. I was really surprised by how few and how small the melons were in both the ripe and split pile. Much fewer than in my previous years' visits. There was also not a pile of large over-ripe melons to be used for animal feed yet.
            To avoid disappointment please call first. 1 707 795 6987
            I showed my cell to the young lady who observed that I seem to have the barn on speed dial.

        2. wolfe Oct 3, 2011 12:24 PM

          We are dealing with some very picky pickers. If it ain't ripe and ready they can wait. So there I was ready to drive from Berkeley to the Barn because they were open yesterday and so should be open today but I called 1 707 795 6987 just to be sure and they are not open today but plan to be tomorrow, Call first.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wolfe
            wolfe Oct 4, 2011 12:27 PM

            Today's (10/4) opening cancelled by weather. Try again tomorrow, call first.

          2. wolfe Oct 1, 2011 10:29 AM

            The message today 10/1 is that the barn is closed today but will be open tomorrow 10/2.
            Again the # is 1 707 795 6987 to confirm. Why trust someone who is so frequently wrong?

            1. j
              jsaimd Sep 28, 2011 05:39 PM

              Maybe not the same, but I bought a crane melon from Sigona's at Stanford a few weeks ago. They said they were local, so perhaps not all are that late.

              4 Replies
              1. re: jsaimd
                abstractpoet Oct 1, 2011 11:55 PM

                My understanding is that the only real Crane melons are sold at the Barn. Anything else is just someone trying to plant the seeds taken from an actual Crane (at a different location, under different conditions) -- not sure if it's a trademark infringement. Anyway, the ones I've seen have been a far cry from the real deal.

                1. re: abstractpoet
                  Melanie Wong Oct 2, 2011 12:01 AM

                  I've had "Crane" melons grown in the same general vicinity, i.e., Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, that are the equal of the ones sold at the barn. But I've also seen early season Crane melons at some grocers that came from Texas . . . have not tried those.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    abstractpoet Oct 2, 2011 12:14 AM

                    Happy Boy has sold them at the Berkeley farmers market in past years, and they weren't nearly as fragrant (and were misshapen).

                    When picked at the proper ripeness, Cranes can't really be shipped far...even to Berkeley is pushing it, much less from Texas!

                  2. re: abstractpoet
                    Robert Lauriston Oct 2, 2011 11:01 AM

                    The seeds are available and the name is not trademarked, so other people can grow them, but if they pick them before they're ripe they're not going to be as good.

                    “The Crane melon’s flavor is due to its terroir. The melon was developed to be grown on the land that’s been in the Crane family for nearly 160 years—in a particular soil, within a specific climate zone, farmed in a certain style.”


                2. Melanie Wong Sep 2, 2011 09:45 PM

                  Yep, drove by today (avoiding traffic on 101) and it wasn't open yet.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    Bigshadetree Sep 27, 2011 08:46 AM

                    Called this morning, Tuesday Sept. 27 - same recording saying season is late and they may be open at the end of September.

                    1. re: Bigshadetree
                      Melanie Wong Sep 27, 2011 07:05 PM

                      Wow, really late. Thanks for posting.

                  2. Robert Lauriston Sep 2, 2011 06:51 PM

                    As it did last week, the Web site says "Opening approximately: September 1 - October 31 ... It iis a good idea to call first, there is an answering service that is updated with times and days of operation."

                    Crane Melon Barn
                    4935 Petaluma Hill Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

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