February 17, 2019

The Scoop

Scoop cantaloupe

Janine Pineo Photo - Scoop cantaloupe

If you have never eaten a cantaloupe grown locally, then you have never eaten a cantaloupe. Like most foods you grow yourself, there is nothing to compare to the delicate flavor of a muskmelon, still warm from the summer sun. It’s juicy and slightly sweet, with just a hint of that “musk” that folks either like or severely dislike. Cantaloupes have a distinct netted rind when mature and can be grown quite well in Maine, especially if black plastic mulch is used to help warm the soil and conserve moisture. Cantaloupes love water, but not when they are ripening; too much could cause the fruit to split. And how does one tell when a cantaloupe is ripe and ready? It couldn’t be easier because a gentle tug of a ripe melon should have it “slip” completely off the vine with no resistance.