Posts Tagged ‘watermelon’

Posted on 20th December 2012

grow | watermelon

By MEREDITH KIRTON

 home grown watermelon

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

Almost nothing says summer like a watermelon.  Cold from the fridge on a hot day, or still warm from growing out in the sun and then split open to gorge on that sweet flesh, it is the stuff from which childhood memories are forged.  They do, however, need some space to grow and time, as they take on average about 3 months to harvest.

The fast growing vines sprawl along the ground in any sunny position, but they do best if the area is also well drained and well irrigated until the fruits start to ripen and the vines are well fed.  Each vine normally reaps only about 5 fruit, so normally a half dozen vines are grown.  For best results, create a mound with added compost and blood and bone and into the top of this sow 3-4 seeds.  After germination, choose the best two seedlings and remove the others.  Repeat this over a few nearby mounds and your watermelon patch will start to grow.  If you want to double the crop, plant corn in the same patch as they are great companions.

You can tell when a watermelon is ripe and ready for picking because the side nearest to the ground will yellow, and a tap on the skin makes a hollow sound like a drum.  The spiral coil near the stem of the fruit will also start to brown.  Cut them off from the main vine, and refrigerate.

Native originally to Africa, they spread all around the world with the slave trade and ended up in the USA.  Although pink to red shades of melon are the most common, watermelons are actually available in white (Cream of Saskatchewan), yellow (Yellow Crimson and Mountain Yellow) and orange (Sweet Siberian and Orange Tendersweet) fleshed types.   There are also yellow rind versions such as Golden Midget and yellow spotted skin type called Moon and Stars. Sugar Baby is a particular favourite with home gardeners  as the vine is more compact and the fruits actually fit in the fridge!

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under grow
Posted on 20th December 2012

harvest | watermelon

By MANDY SINCLAIR

home grown watermelon

home grown watermelon

Storage:

Once picked whole watermelon should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If cut, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

What to do with glut

watermelon cocktail recipe

Watermelon punch

Remove skin from ¼ of seedless watermelon. Chop flesh and place in a blender. Place in a punch bowl with 2 litres of soda water. Add ½ cup mint leaves and ½ cup vodka. Add watermelon ice cubes (see below), just before serving.

  • To Freeze – ice cubes
    Remove skin from ¼ of seedless watermelon. Chop flesh and place in a blender. Blend until smooth. Divide between ice cube trays and freeze overnight until firm.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

 

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Posted under harvest
Posted on 20th December 2012

cook | watermelon

By MANDY SINCLAIR

watermelon bombe alaska

Watermelon bombe Alaska

23 sponge finger biscuits
1.5 litres vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup watermelon puree, strained
Meringue
3 egg whites
¾ cup caster sugar

1. Line a 11cm x 23cm loaf pan with baking paper, allowing long edges to overhang pan. Lay half of sponge biscuits over base of prepared pan, breaking biscuits to fit if needed.
2. Mix together ice cream and watermelon puree. Pour half over sponge biscuits. Lay remaining biscuits over ice cream. Finish with remaining watermelon ice cream. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until firm peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1tbsp at a time, beating constantly, until thick and glossy.
4. Remove ice cream from pan and place on a platter. Working quickly, use a spatula to spread meringue over top and sides of loaf. Using a blow torch, brown meringue lightly. Alternatively, place under a preheated grill for 1 min, until meringue is golden.

Serves 10

Tip
Add a couple of drops of red food colouring to watermelon ice cream if you prefer a richer colour.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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