We are certainly feeling the Dog Days of Summer here in Michigan. While I mostly like to talk about rug hooking and my fiber animals here on my blog, I thought that today I would tell you about something that has been our town's claim to fame for nearly 70 years.
A Howell melon is a hybrid of a cantaloupe but honestly, there is no comparison, as I prefer the taste of a Howell melon. They are sweet, very juicy and melt in your mouth. For some reason, they are only grown around our region. There were only 3 big farms who grew them when I moved here in 1989. We have a Melon Festival, a Melon Queen, a Melon Parade, and yes, even Melon ice cream. This all takes place in mid-August, when the melons ripen.
We tried growing Howell melons back in the 90's. The key word is "try." LOL. We did everything we were told to do: build a mound to plant the seeds and make sure it faced the south. We nurtured those poor little seedlings but in the end, we only got about 4 melons and 3 of them rotted on the vine. The fourth one never grew very big and it was pretty sad to look at. What happened? Well, melons like warm humid nights and hot summer days. It turns out that the year we tried to grow them was the coldest and worse summer on record for growing Howell melons. The farmers had a loss too. They brought in melons from Indiana so our Melon Festival won't be a failure and hoped for a better growing season the next year.