Cucumis melo L. Reticulatus Group
85 days — The melons are small, oval to long-oval in shape, six to eight inches in length, averaging two to three pounds each with fairly prominent ribbing and heavy netting. The flesh is firm,
moderately juicy, aromatic, sweet, and is a light green color with a pale pink blush around their
seed cavity. The rinds are strong, tough, and about a quarter-inch thick which helps to protect them.
'Long John', like so several other old varieties, originated in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. It was originally introduced by the Meyer Seed Company of Baltimore in 1930.
Other seed companies in the area began to offer it. For example, F. W. Bolgiano and Company introduced it to their customers in 1932 with the following bit of history:
"Originated, improved and perfected in the great cantaloupe section of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, which is widely known for its grand luscious cantaloupes."
Over time it disappeared from the seed trade and was no longer commercially available. In 2004, David Pendergrass
of the New Hope Seed Company in Tennessee saw it mentioned in an old seed catalog. He search and obtained seed from the USDA (accession number NSL 2896). He cleaned it up, grew it out for several years, and re-released it for the 2007 growing season.
We are happy to have David as one of our growers and excited about keeping rare varieties like this one available to home gardeners. Each packet contains 0.5 gram, which is approximately 25 seeds.