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Sep 14, 2013 02:22 PM

Crane Melon Barn Open. [Santa Rosa]

How are the melons this year?

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  1. I hadn't heard of this, so I looked it up. It's in Santa Rosa. I might be up there next weekend, so maybe I'll check it out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave MP

      It's an annual fall tradition for the SF Bay Area board. A bit early this year, but that's in keeping with the early timing of everything else's season it seems. Some past reports and ideas of things to check out nearby or on the way,

      1. re: Dave MP

        Make a small food tour. It's 4 miles south to Buds Custom Meats and 6 miles from the barn to Matos Cheese.

      2. Haven't tried them this year but I can say the trip up to the barn would not be a waste of time. Last year I had one around the house for a few days past optimal and mold was blooming on the vine end. It looked kind of gross and the skin was soft and mushy. I hated to see a good Crane go to waste so I sliced it open and it was the best melon I've ever had. Unbelievable flavor and sweetness.

        So don't pass up the mushy ones or the ones with split skin. They are often the best!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Andrew H

          An early season before the rains start is exciting.

        2. Just had one, they are perfectly ripe, full of flavor and SWEET.
          Diabetics, stay away :)

          Large assortment to choose from. Three large delicious melons were $14.00.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tom246

            Thank you am looking forward to weekend visit as above and if time permits Walker Apple Farm, all 4 places on a 20 mile loop.

          2. Hope they picked a lot of them yesterday for the weekend. It's raining now.

            1 Reply
            1. How about a description of Crane melons, for example how they are similar (or not) to watermelon (which I don't like) and cantaloupe (which I love).

              6 Replies
                1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                  "Much closer to cantaloupes, but bigger."
                  There have been years when I went to the barn and some were much bigger than cantaloupes but the ones are I saw and bought yesterday were all small to medium cantaloupe size; The flesh is orange, softer and sweeter. There were fewer than usual in the 99 cent/lb section and none in the 69 cent.split section. Hopefully more will be available before the short season ends. Call before you go.
                  (707) 795-6987

                  1. re: wolfe

                    The lady said they'll have melons into October.

                    I bought extras yesterday to give to friends. One had not heard of Crane melons before. I made him come out to the car. When I opened the car door, he was blown away by the perfumed scent pouring out.

                  2. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                    I was at the melon barn around 2pm yesterday and bought five melons, $17.20. There was a range of sizes available at that hour. These were all harvested Friday before it started to rain. I think this is the first time I've had Crane melons before the rain, as I tend to get them on the late side, in October, usually.

                    If you've had any of the Asian melons with webbing that originate along the Silk Road, such as Sharlyn, Hami or Persian, the flavor and aroma are similar. The orange flesh is firmer than the Sharlyn. The Crane is a cross with several Asian type melons and the cantaloupe, so I think you'll like them.

                    One of the reasons they're so good is that the Crane family picks them vine ripe. You can't leave them on a counter for more than a couple days without them starting to rot.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      That they pick ripe is much more important to me than the unique hybrid.

                      Many other varieties can be just as good when fully ripe, which is almost impossible to find around here.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I couldn't disagree.

                        Too late for this season, but next year you may want to plan a trip up to Lake County for the Saturday morning farmers market. A backyard grower, Morgan Valley Produce, there has a wide variety of rare melons and you can taste before you buy. I bought a charentais from him last year and returned last month to buy more. He only sells there and he said he'd be done by Labor Day.