Ever see a melon growing in a dry retention pond, or out in a field and rush over, thinking it's a honeydew?
Happened to me when I was 15. My brother and I were 4-wheeling in a swampy area looking for baby gators to bring home (ya, hindsight haha), and I was so hot. It was high 90s in the summer and I saw this melon in a field. Went over, shaved a chunk off with my trusty Swiss Army, and got a mouthful of bitter yuckiness! I should've known because the seeds inside are reddish-pink, not pale like a honeydew or canteloupe. This, friends, is a wild Citron melon:
Sometimes they don't taste too bad, it all depends on where they're growing. We feed them to our livestock quite often, and the pastured chickens go crazy if we bust one open (the outer skin is thick and quite tough). These days, my son and I play "Real Life Fruit Ninja" with them: I throw them and he chips them with a machete! It's fun and the pigs go nuts because they LOVE them!
We are letting one big one decompose and spread seed on its own. The vine has died away completely and it looks like a volleyball sitting in the grass. But citrons don't like to be messed with, so we're leaving it be. Hopefully, it will grace us with 40-50 more melons in the summer......
We said goodbye to my piggies at the beginning of this month. It was sad, but with baking turning into an almost full-time job, I didn't feel I was doing right by them and sold them to another farm. They are all female, so they are going to be breeders, and when I'm ready again I'll buy some of their babies. They got a treat every night when I put them away, so the last night they each got their own melon! Six piggies just smackin' their lips and chowing down. I miss them already...
But sometimes we have to make the hard choices, and for us (including the piggies) it was the right choice. Maybe by the time we are in full citron growth, the new owners will let me visit with treats!