The Crane Melon Barn in Santa Rosa, California
A couple of years ago while my sister and I were visiting my oldest daughter at Sonoma State University, we passed the Crane Melon Barn on our way to a sorority event in Santa Rosa. There was a Christmas boutique at the barn that day, so on our way back to Sonoma State we stopped to check it out. The barn was full of reasonably priced vintage and antique jewelry, Christmas items, new things and old, furniture, jams and jellies, and a lot of unique items made by Sonoma County artists and crafters. We walked out of there loaded with bags full of treasures that day!
Last week we were on our way to the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa and saw that the Crane Melon Barn was open and selling Crane melons. Never having seen a Crane melon, we thought we better stop and take a look. The melons were piled on the floor and while looking at them it appeared to me that no two melons look the same. Most of the melons are slightly torpedo shaped with a pointed tip on one end.
A pile of Crane melons
On Wikipedia I found that the melons were developed in the early 1900’s by Oliver Crane, who crossed several species of melons that included Japanese melon, Persian melon, ambrosia melon, and a white melon.
The melons smell like a cross between a honeydew and a cantalope. The melon flesh is orange and is incredibly sweet and juicy. The Crane family says what makes their Crane melons so good is the terroir, a French term for the special combination of soil, climate and farming techniques.
Closeup view of a Crane melon
The inside of a Crane melon
The Crane melon is only in season and available during September and October and can only be purchased at the barn, so you still have a few weeks to give them a try. Besides the melons you can also purchase Crane yellow flesh watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, and Crane honey.
Heirloom tomatoes for sale at the Crane Melon Barn
The Crane melon barn was built in 1896 and when not being used for melon sales or the Christmas boutique, it is available to rent for weddings, family reunions, and birthday parties and such. There is a full kitchen setup in the barn.
The Christmas boutique starts Thanksgiving weekend and runs until Christmas. We are already planning our trip to the boutique!