Favorite Crop Varieties: Watermelon, Shvelisi Garlic, Lima Beans and Chinese Kale

Brook Elliott shares MOTHER readers favorite crop varieties, including white meated watermelon, Shvelisi garlic, large lima beans, Chinese kale and a stuffed Kailaan leaves recipe.

| April/May 2003

MOTHER readers favorite crop varieties and a featured recipe.

Great taste is one of the biggest reasons to grow your own garden, yet many of the best-tasting varieties are becoming hard to find because our current food system often values shelf life and shipping qualities more than taste and tenderness. MOTHER'S Cream of the Crops series presents outstanding favorite crop varieties recommended by our readers.

"White-Meated" Watermelon Variety

Many gardeners think non-red water-melons are new. In fact, watermelons in other colors were once very common and are merely making a comeback. For instance, in her new book, Melons For The Passionate Grower, Amy Goldman says, "There's nothing more stunning than a platter of sliced watermelon with flesh tones of creamy white, salmon, canary yellow, psychedelic orange and pink lemonade."

White-fleshed varieties were grown for hundreds of years in Africa, but many of them are now extinct. Even in the 1800s, white-fleshed melons were common and were sold by many companies. One that remains, though rare, is `White-Meated,' a small, icebox-sized melon that grows to 2 to 3 pounds (shown above).

Its crisp, juicy, fruity-tasting flesh makes 'White-Meated' my favorite small watermelon. The skin is light green with dark radial stripes; when ripe, the flesh is creamy white, with relatively few seeds.

Seed is available from us at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds [www.rareseeds.com], and through Seed Savers Exchange members [www.seedsavers.org.]

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