This melon originated just a few minutes away from us here in Chico, CA. Bidwell is named after John Bidwell, who was a general in the Civil War and struck it rich in the California Gold Rush. Bidwell later founded the town of Chico, where he planted the original seed stock from the Department of Agriculture on his estate. After many years of selection, the Bidwell Casaba was born. Bidwell was also known for his wheat production and gold medal winning flour which he ground at his on site mill. He is credited for California's first commercial raisin crop.
Bidwell Casaba produces a huge football shaped melon late in the season when it is hot.
The flesh is creamy, sugary and compared to orange sherbet by many.
Fruits can reach 15#s, are deep grooved and have yellow skin.
If it were not for seed savers Zea Sonnabend, Clara and Lowell Stringfellow (now in their 80s), Bidwell Casaba would not have survived to the present day.
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!
I planted several varieties over the past couple years. These have been the most reliable producers so far. Averaged 10-15 lbs. one larger one about 20. Nothing remotely close to 40 lbs. that’s ok. Huge ones are a pain to break down.
I planted a whole bunch of this to attract bees and butterflies. It grows like crazy. However I protected the seed with hay because my first round died because of the hot Florida sun and lack of rain lately.
We started these indoors in January. We transplanted them twice and finally out to our raised bed (full coastal sun). The plant is massive and the tomatoes are TASTY! The best little tomatoes we have ever had. We will likely plant them in a separate bed next year since they grow to such a large size and can crowd out other plants.