If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my gardening experiences, this year, it’s that I’m a horrible judge of melon ripeness. I’ve scoured the internet for sources, talked with other gardeners, and tried every one of their tricks to help me determine when the best time is to pick a melon, but with not much luck. Out of the dozens of melons I’ve picked from my garden, a few have been the perfect ripeness, most have been overripe, and some have been under ripe. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s just no sure-fire way to tell when a melon is at its peak ripeness.
Today, I picked the first honeydew melon of the year from the garden. I was really looking forward to eating some of the sweet slices alongside of a freshly baked whole wheat cinnamon role. Unfortunately, it turned out to be an under ripe one. It tasted like a cucumber.
“What a waste!” I thought, and I started to add it to the compost bag —
…but, then I had an idea!
Using half of the melon, I cut off the rinds…
Cut the flesh into cubes…
Tossed the cubed melon into the blender, filled it the rest of the way with frozen strawberries, added a tablespoon of lemon juice, and topped it off with 100% apple juice.
Then, I liquified the whole thing and ended up with this amazing breakfast smoothie to enjoy with my nice, warm cinnamon roll…
Who says a melon’s only good at peak ripeness, and that there’s only one way to enjoy eating one? Certainly not me, anymore.
So, I’m going to fearlessly approach my melon harvesting from here on out because I know that, perfectly ripe or not, all melons are perfectly edible — if I’m willing to think outside the box and get creative in my use of them. I’ve already started thinking about how wonderful they would be in fresh summer salsas and salads!
Do you grow melons? How do you tell when they are ripe? How do you use those that are over or under ripe?