Melons & Other Cucurbits
Gardening in the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 grew exponentially as a hobby, particularly amongst those who have a good plot of land. Richard Brown is a horticultural teacher in a college up in the North of England, in Wakefield, Yorkshire. The fact that he has been successfully growing melons for several years is a credit to his powers as a gardener. Pumpkins and cucumbers are members of the same botanical family, and you will also learn how to grow them. Richard Brown will teach the aspirant gardener all they need to know about propagation, technique, germination, compost and growing conditions, so that the reader can successfully grow melons and bring them to the table. He will also discuss growing cucumbers and other members of the cucurbit family. All in all, if you wish to amaze your friends by the end of the summer, this is the book you need. Here is an extract.
Richard Brown is a horticulturist who teaches at Wakefield College, helping young and old, able bodied and disabled, become great gardeners. He was awarded the Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2013 for a comparative study on the use of horticulture as therapy between the UK, Canada and the USA. He is a member of the Northern Fruit Group, which gives talks on fruit growing. Richard helps them at the Royal Horticultural Society shows at Tatton Park, Liverpool, and the Great Yorkshire Show. This is his first book, and he is looking forward to using it to teach enthusiastic amateur gardeners grow melons and other cucurbits in Northern climates.
Review by Sam Bilton in ‘Comfortably Hungry’ http://www.sambilton.com/melons-other-cucurbits/
A large proportion of the book covers the actual growing of cucurbits (the collective name for this type of ‘fruit’) from propagation, planting out, tips on growing, harvesting and saving seeds. Brown also recommends particular cultivars to grow. The last section of the book covers cucurbits in the kitchen with recipes ranging from Shark Fin Melon Soup (fear not – it doesn’t contain any shark!), spiced pumpkin scones and marrow rum (which will be a godsend when my courgettes get too large and unruly).
Who will like it? This is definitely one for the green fingered among you particularly if you want to try growing something different (and successfully!). If you prefer buying your fruit fully ripened and have little interest in growing your own then you are less likely to appreciate the book (although it does contain some intriguing recipes and you obviously could make them with shop bought melons etc).
Here is a short film made by Richard Brown when his book was in production.