Heirloom Seed Package contains 2 grams or about 19 heirloom watermelon seeds
The history of the Moon & Stars watermelon is a short one, considering melons have been cultivated for at least 4,000 years, according to Amy Goldman, whose "Melons for the Passionate Grower,'' (Artisan, 2002) -- chockfull as it is with the history, growing tips and descriptions of heirloom melons, along with Victor Schrager's mouthwatering photos -- is a must-have for anyone who wants to cultivate melons.
Called 'Sun, Moon and Stars' when it was introduced in 1924 by Peter Henderson and Company, the melon had disappeared from the commercial market for decades and was thought extinct when, in 1981, as Goldman notes, Kent Whealy, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, was contacted by Merle Van Doren of Macon, Mo., who was growing the melon and gave Wheatly some of the seeds from the melons he grew. The Southern Exposure Seed Exchange reintroduced the oblong 'Amish Moon & Stars' and a yellow-fleshed, not-so-sweet variety in 1987.
A heavy watermelon -- ranging from 20 to as much as 50 pounds -- the 'Moon & Stars' has a dark green somewhat ridged rind with the aforementioned yellow mottling. Leaves are similarly mottled. Fruit may be round, oblong or pear-shaped.
The flesh, which can be red, pink-red or yellow, depending on the variety, is nowhere near as dense and smooth as that of the commonly grown 'Sugar Baby' or 'Crimson Sweet.' The flesh around the seeds tends to get mealy just when the melon is at its peak, which is the only downside I've found -- although those who like their fruit seedless may balk at the large seeds that surround a small heart. On the other hand, those who eat the nutritious seeds (Goldman notes that watermelons are grown for their seeds rather than the flesh in China and many parts of Africa) will prize 'Moon & Stars.' Source SFGate
Listed in Slow Food's Ark of Taste which aims to rediscover and catalogue forgotten flavors by documenting excellent food products that are in danger of disappearing. Since the international initiative began in 1996, more than 800 products from over 50 countries have been added to the international Ark of Taste. The Ark of Taste serves as a resource to those interested in reviving rare breeds and learning about endangered foods, with the goal of encouraging the continued production and consumption of these delicious foods.
I purchased the Fall Seed Collection for some container gardening this autumn and have been very pleased with the results. Germination rate was fantastic and I had to do much more thinning than I usually do from store-bought seeds. The little growing guide helped with varieties I haven't grown before (hello, kohlrabi). All of my plants are hardy and healthy and I'm already enjoying the early harvests. Looking forward to maturity on the longer growers. Will be buying the Granny's kitchen garden pack for spring. Thanks so much!