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Crane Melons

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?

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  1. 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

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

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

      2. 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

          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

            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

              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

              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. 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. 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

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

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

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

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    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. 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

                    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. 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

                      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

                        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.