Montreal melon (Montreal Market, Montreal Nutmeg)

Origin - Canada, 1870s. Although W. Atlee Burpee discovered this melon in 1880 at the St. Annes Market in Montreal, the melon had been grown many years prior to this in the Montreal area. The melons roots can be traced back to the early French settlers.

Days till harvest - 85

Rind - Green, netted, ribbed.   Flesh - Green and very delicious if picked at its prime.  Fruit weight - up to 4 kg.

 

 There were many families in this area that grew the Montreal Melon, each familys strain was slightly different. There were two main strains, the Decarie Family Strain and the Gorman Family Strain. The Decarie Strain was large and round; the Gorman strain was more oval. Both had exquisite taste. Montreal Market Melons were shipped as far away as New York and sold for top dollars at fancy restaurants. It became the most popular melon in Canada and New England. 

It remained popular for decades but after the Second World War it began to disappear. After the 1920s, the melon farms and the rich agricultural land began to be replaced by urban expansion. The Montreal Market Melon almost became extinct. It was thought lost until a few very old seeds were found in a seed bank maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1995. From these few seeds the Montreal Market Melon was saved from the brink of extinction.  A very productive strain.

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