Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Fermenting Melon Seeds

One interesting thing about The Carosello Spuredda Tarantino is that, partially because of the powdery mildew attack, the majority of the fruit became ripe at the same time. This was not really what I had in mind in harvesting seed from this variety. Once I had begun harvesting the seed, another issue arose. The pulp, which with other melon varieties is very soft, had large quantities of hard pieces in them. This made the whole process of harvesting seed very difficult.

My Carosello Spuredda Tarantino Harvest

Looking closer.

If I was to going to be able to harvest the seed properly, I would either have to ferment the whole batch or I would have to pick out each little piece after drying them. Partially because of how hard this specific type of seed was, I chose to ferment.

What my family room looks like in the fall

Within general literature, I cannot find much evidence to support my decision. However, most texts that outline how to process melon seed are viewing mature melons as soft fruit, without any more firm pulp. I started at six days (when most of the pulp had softened), then fermented a couple more after that. I germinated both the 6 day and the 10 day batch and would have to say that the 6 day batch germinated much better.

Very occasionally, fermenting melon seeds is essential for seed processing

5 gallon bucket almost full of fermenting seed (yum!)

The germinated seed that was harvested after 6 days of fermenting

So, at least for the Carosello Spuredda Tarantino, I would highly suggest that seed savers not go through the work of drying the seeds until all the pulp has fermented.

This is how you dry a lot of seed at once - in 10x20 trays

These sturdy trays with holes on the bottom were a great investment

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