Fruit News Roundup: A $6,000 Watermelon, $2.5 Million Cantaloupes, And A Fruit That Makes Everything Taste Sweet

I couldn't resist putting together this post about fruit.
Don't read it right before you go food shopping…

A 'Densuke', watermelon recently sold for $6,000 in Japan. It was a special ice-box sized variety with a unique black skin grown in the north of Japan. The skin is actually a very dark green with black stripes. I've grown melons before, and no matter how great I thought they were, I'd never pay more than $1,000 for one of mine! The man who bought it said he wanted to support farming in Japan. Good for him for supporting his Home Team. Are you buying local produce to support your local economy?
Here's a link with a photo

Melons are big in Japan. They are sometimes used as corporate gifts, and their price tag will make you look a little differently at those yummy pears we get as gifts at Christmas. Last month a pair of Yubari cantaloupes sold for 2.5 million. Here's another cool Yubari link for you:

My melon growing results were less than stellar. I tried Moon and Stars icebox watermelons one year just because they were so cute! Instead of stripes they have spots all over the fruit and leaves. They're a bush variety so they don't take up a lot of room. I also tried a cool Navajo heirloom melon because they are able to withstand more drought. It was delicious.

Finally, there is a small 'miracle' fruit that makes everything taste sweet. Fruit from Synsepalum dulcificum changes your taste buds for a few hours after you chew on the fruit. It is a tropical shrub native to West Africa and some guy is selling the tiny cumquat-sized fruits for $2.50 a pop. Last night on the news they made some poor reporter take a tablespoon of Tabasco sauce after she'd eaten the fruit. It tasted sweet, but it still burned her mouth! Read about the fruit here:

If you'd like to try your hand at miracle fruit, here's a link from the California Rare Fruit Growers with all the info you'll need:

And just for fun here are a few links to heirloom seed companies.
Heirloom Seeds - has Navajo, Moon and Stars and a Black Melon.

Here's my favorite heirloom guy at Redwood City Seeds

Happy Gardening!