How to add tropical taste to your growing garden

Rich Sweetness Melon

What's summer without all different kinds of melon?

Angel Miller with 2 Angels Mushroom Farm said planting and growing can be a family affair with the reward of sweet fruit at the end.

"As you're growing the melons, you get to see the little baby ones first appear and you watch each melon grow larger and larger," said Miller.

Miller said to remember three things while planting melons whether they are regular honey dew or exotic varieties.

"They need a very rich soil. That is very important. We use a lot of compost," said Miller.

"A consistent steady amount of water is critical," said Miller. She explained that too much rain often causes fungal diseases, so this year has been awesome for growing melons.

Miller said be sure to plan when planting melons because those vines are voluminous, " does take up a lot of space in the garden." At 2 Angels Mushroom Farm, Miller said they love to grow exotic or "weird" fruit.

"The rich sweetness is actually an heirloom Russian melon. It's a personal-sized melon, not on that you really see very often," said Miller.

The baby rich sweetness melons are still green, but when they are ripe they turn a bright red and yellow color.

"They change color in just a couple of days. They literally disconnect from the vine and then you know that one is ripe. There is no guess work on this one," said Miller. To eat this personal-sized melon, just cut it open and scoop out the seeds. The taste is similar to a mix between a honey dew and a cantaloupe.

Another type of exotic melon Miller has growing in her garden is an African-Horned Melon also known as a Kiwano. The outer skin has spikes on it and the babies are dark green.

"This one is starting to turn yellow. When it is fully ripe it will be bright orange, I mean really a bright burnt orange. When you slice it open on the inside it has green jelly-like stuff," said Miller. This type of melon has a tropical flavor.

Love melons? Melon Fest at the Ooltewah Farmers Market is Thursday, August 18th from 3-6 p.m.

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