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Need Some Help...(pic added)

3495 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  BruceG34
Answering this question. Which is the sweetest? This was asked to me at least a dozen times yesterday about my melons. I grow 4 varieties: Crimson Sweet, Verona, Ledmon, and Moon and Stars. It does no good to tell a customer what my personal favorite is, or the differences in the redness of the melons, or a description of the varieties. It is like comparing tractors, cars, trucks. etc. Sometimes people get a bit preturbed that I cannot tell them what their favorite melon will be. Society grows stranger by the day.
Also, when they decide to buy one they will say "I want the best one that you have." My response is that the lady or man that bought the last one got the best one. Now you get to choose the best of what is left. :lol: They don't know how to handle that one most of the time. ;)
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Re: Need Some Help...

Oh Jim maybe you should say" here this one , they have left the best for you ". :) :) :D :D :D :lol: :lol:
Re: Need Some Help...

It might sound silly, but over time, it gets old quick. I want everyone to have a good one, and we try to make sure all are ripe. Like I asked a customer, what good does it do me to sell bad ones? :roll:
Re: Need Some Help...

You pretty much answered that question yourself. As every taste bud is as different as the person it belongs to. Which is sweetest to one may not be to another.
Out of those varieties Crimson Sweet is the only one of them I have knowingly eaten. Charleston Grey, Crimson Sweet, and Sugar Baby are the only watermelon varieties we ever grew.
Re: Need Some Help...

it can be frustrating and i dont know the answer we go through the same thing with sweet corn every one asks is it peaches and cream if you try to explain it is a bi colour and peaches and cream seed to my knowledge is no longer available through the seed suppliers i deal or have had for 10 years with they say i bought it down the road last week all the chain stores in canada have now switched there ad to bi colour corn if you try explain it ends up very time consuming and confusing exspecialy if you try to explain difference in normal sugar varieties along with sugar enhanched and super sweet and gourmay lines we have choosen to start with a couple sugar enhanched varieties to start with 70 day length end of april then switch to gourmays from may till end of june then super sweets for 3 weekly plantings in july if you tryed to explain this you wount have time to sell any thing same thing happens with tomatoes is this beef stake
Re: Need Some Help...

We have been asked at the farmers market several times each day we are there what types of tomatoes we grow. To most, the varieties mean little. Like with the melons, I often think that the public is testing us to see if we know what we are doing, but they do this because they don't know how to do what we do. I guess they have to be convinvced we are gardeners or farmers. Maybe we should be referred to as "practicing" farmers and gardeners.

I decided to tell folks that the Ledmon, my favorite, is the sweetest or best tasting. If that is not satisfactory, I will suggest that my tastes may differ from theirs. If they remain confused or undecided, they best go to the grocery store and get one of them seedless cucumber flavored melons. They know what to expect from them.

As for sweet corn, bi-colored corn does not sell well at our market. Most want silver queen even though there are much better varieties out there. Yellow sweet corn does not sell as well as white. Yet to me it is as good as white and looks much better cooked after frozen and in stews and soups. As with many things in life, color means a lot.

Dave, I believe Ledmons would grow in KY. They are a heirloom, have no disease resistance and the "wilt" will take them out quickly, but ifn one has the right kind of soil, one will not be disappointed. Want some seed?
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Re: Need Some Help...

a vender at a market i was at sat had white corn he sold 6 doz i sold 140 white is not popular here yellow is a 10 percent market seller there is a gourmet variety called vision that is excellent we grow some around perimeter of field as the wild life tend to go after it and leave bi coulour alone
Re: Need Some Help...

Just to let yall see what I am enjoying, here is a bowl of Ledmon melon that Mrs. Jim has fixed to chill in the refrig for a snack later.
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Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Nummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy
Crimsion Sweet is good but my favorite is Sweet Favorite. I prefer seeded to seedless. I used to work in a greenhouse whos claim to fame was 180 varities of tomato plants. I often was asked which was the best, as if I had personally grown all. Customers didn't like my honest answer which I gave once in a while "They're all yucky". (I won't eat the nasty slimy things.) One customer then asked me if there was anyone there who knew anything about tomatos.

Corncob - Peaches and cream was listed by Burgess in their 2012 catalog. They were one of the first to handle it and it then came with three maturity dates. There is now only two. Years ago Burgess was located here in Galesburg and dad for several years grew tomato seed for them.

I don't think I have ever had a bad watermelon and I have had many kinds. Dad let us eat all we wanted and we cooled them in the milk cooler. Vern
Re: Need Some Help...

Jim in NC said:
...... Dave, I believe Ledmons would grow in KY. They are a heirloom, have no disease resistance and the "wilt" will take them out quickly, but ifn one has the right kind of soil, one will not be disappointed. Want some seed?
If you've got some to spare. I'd like to try it. :D I will send you a message with my address. It's not a popular seed in this area. Mater of fact I don't remember seeing it in the local seed supplier I use. (Bunton)
Melons seem to like this sandy loam soil here. I doubt I would have any trouble growing it. After thinking about it Grandma used to grow Kleckley’s Sweet, and Dixie Queen,
along with the others I mentioned when she was selling melons. A long time ago now, '83 was the last year she raised melons to sell. Was my bride's first and only experience in the melon patch, as we married in Nov. '82 ;)
Since, I've always grown Sugar Baby's in our garden. Good sweet little melon, just perfect for two, with minimal waste. This year they weren't as sweet as usual, and had a verrry thick rind. Most likely from the extra hot weather.
Dave, Ledmon seed are not sold here nor are Ledmons grown commercially because low disease resistance and thin rinds. They were the thickest that I can ever remember this year, like you say, cuz of the heat. The seed is not available at feed stores unless the store owner gets some from someone that grows them like me. I once had a feed mill owner ask me to save him 20 pounds of them. :shock: I politely told him to grow his own. ;)
Jimmy, you pose an interesting post! While I can't yet relate on the farmer's market level (ask me again this time next year, the planning's already started :D ) I can relate on the Produce Manager's position. Since I have been in the trade I have dealt with a few local farms who are able to supply me consistently (season permitting.) I have always had a department that emphasized local farms and offering connections with the grower to promote local agriculture (and our neighbors!)
There is one farm in particular that most of my dealings are with, she grows about 20 acres of produce... and to date the best watermelons I have ever had in my life... though I need to try one of these heirloom's you speak of ;)
She grows 4 main varieties, a Charleston Gray- which I often offer to my customers as the best "old fashioned" watermelon taste.. it can tend to have a hint of the mealiness without being mealy... if that makes any sense... and is extremely sweet and juicy (extra juicy.) Then she grows a variety of a yellow Seedless melon (not exactly sure the name) that is a "unique" experience, being less strong in the watermelon department and more of a sugar-water taste. Then she grows the classic Sugarbaby - which I don't usually recommend when a Charleston Gray is available because they are similar (to me) and the Charleston is sweeter - though the Sugarbaby is a good choice if you aren't needing a lot of melon (they seem to avg. 8-12 lbs, compared to the 30-40+ pound Charleston's.)
MY personal favorite however, are the Revolution seedless melons. Though I generally prefer the sweetness of a seeded when the local aren't available... these melons are the single best watermelon I have ever had... they are seedless (for those whom it matters to... usually day cares and such) but they are extremely sweet and have a rich watermelon flavor. They range from 25lbs to over 40 lbs depending on the melon, and are very dark green in color - generally somewhat oval shaped.
If I have a customer ask me for the best watermelon flavor I usually ask them if they want the melon to me more crisp or juicy and if seeds are an issue. If they want the crisp- I grab them a good Revolution... and if they want to take a bath while they enjoy the sweet goodness I pick them a good Charleston Gray. The yellows are often a hit with the kids though :lol:

Soo... the point of this long post Jimmy is I guess I just try to categorize them by texture and sweetness level and at times will just keep one of each aside and cut as need be to let them try if I can't talk it in to them :lol: You are absolutely correct though - only the customer can truly decide what they want. Now... I just need to get my hands on a good Ledmon! :D
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I often have samples available. Yesterday I cut a small one and today I took some cold Ledmon form the bowl in the pic above. Both days I offered folks a sample and told them that this was my favorite. Most people bought the Ledmon so we will see. Prior to the beginning of this topic, I had already had several repeat customers this year. Some of them are ones that have bought from me for years. Today, a few came by for more that had bought from me last Friday. That tells me alot.

Brandon, I think most people are far more critical of an individual like me than a large store or chain. I am small potatoes and it is easier to take me on. They will tell me where they have bought bad melons, and I think the bad experience results in people thinking they have been had, then they wonder if I am gonna do the same thing. :roll:
Jimmy, I had never thought of that before, if anything I had always thought that a person would be more trusting of an honest farmer than of a representative of a larger company - but I can see your side - it was just one I had never thought of before. It does sound like you are doing pretty well though - repeat customers are the sign of satisfaction no matter how large or small. Ultimately your name and reputation are the only things that you have, and if you are doing well enough that people are recognizing them in a positive light - then you're doing just fine :D We can never please everybody, but some people please more than others - I would say that many of the great people on this forum are in that "some" category :) Which also says a lot about this place. Kind of interesting of the similar backgrounds had resulting in some similar personal qualities.
I grow a small yellow fleshed called yellow doll. It is the earliest and sweetest I know of.
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