The standardization of vegetables may have gone somewhat too far, and to use an inconsistent phrase, the public has been educated to be ignorant of many good things that grow upon the land.
It’s merely because these varieties in shape or color deviate from the common lot.
Many folks do not know that there are white table beets and red ones or that many kinds of tomatoes and peppers are not red.
Some of the sweetest watermelons have yellow flesh, while some cucumber varieties good for pickles and slicers are white and not green.
Good White Cucumber Variety
It might seem that a white cucumber would be the favorite type, but it is not, and it is hard to sell white cucumbers on the market.
Too many people think they are getting ripe and will have hard seeds, but that is not the case.
There are small-fruited white cucumbers that are good pickle material and a large white cucumber, the Sweet White, is now available.
This produces 10″ inches or more long cucumbers and is a good slicer.
It should not be confused with an intermediate type, the White Wonder, cataloged by some growers.
This “new” big white cucumber is possibly the same as the variety sold some years ago under In name “Panmure Long White” and the same as the big white cucumbers grown in France for the cosmetic trade.
These big white cucumbers are used in the manufacture of an epidermis bleaching cream used by females as a beautifying agent.
Apparently, this minor agricultural industry has never found a place in America, but the big white cucumbers are just as good as green ones as edible vegetables.
The Arabian “Syrian” Cucumber
Incidentally, it should be noted that the so-called “Arabian” or “Syrian” cucumber grown in California is not a true cucumber at all.
It is merely the old Banana muskmelon, the fruit being picked green and used like a cucumber.
It is a good vegetable, used in this way, possibly better used like a cucumber than a ripe melon.
Pretty Oro Blanco Melon
If you want to puzzle the natives and at the same time raise the prettiest fruit you can grow in one season, you can do no better than plant some hills of the Oro Blanco melon.
The fruit of this will be mistaken, at first sight, by almost everybody for a big ripe orange. However, that’s about description enough for the outside of the thing.
But the internal contents are muskmelon—white-fleshed, sweet, and of good thickness and flavor.
It comes from western Canada and the Dakotas, and it is one of the earliest and surest cropping melons grown.
It would seem that this melon has many market possibilities, and because of its uniform rounded shape and size, it would be suitable for selling in a vending machine.
But it is strangely overlooked, seems to be almost unknown outside of the limited western territory, and only a few growers have it.
Exceptional “Royal Golden” Watermelon
There is one deviate or exceptional watermelon that should be given the widest publicity as revolutionary in developing that fruit.
In comparison, the well-advertised dwarf and the Japanese seedless watermelons are insignificant.
This outstanding watermelon, the Royal Golden from Texas, is the one watermelon that lets you know when it is ripe, and in absolute terms, by turning bright yellow or light orange, like a ripe pumpkin, when it is ripe.
Otherwise, it is just a good, sweet, red-fleshed watermelon.
The yellow color extends to some extent to the vines and a field of them, with their big golden fruits, is an unusual and pleasing sight.
The yellow rind color is frequently evident on the fruits from their beginning but extends to cover the whole melon and turns from a light yellow to a vivid orange when the melon is fully ripe.
The melons weigh from 20 to 40 pounds and are usually mistaken by the uninitiated for ripe pumpkins.
This is an early or 90-day melon, well adapted to northern gardens.
Incidentally, it may be mentioned that there is also a spotted green and yellow rind watermelon known as “Moon and Stars” grown in Florida and some other places in the South.
But this is a home garden curiosity that might be hard to find.
Yellow And Orange Tomato Varieties
Outside of the cucurbits, several annual garden fruits deserve to be far more widely known because of some definite and peculiar features.
This is the case with the yellow and orange tomatoes.
There has been some revival of interest in these varieties in the past few years, and growers now catalog 11 tomato varieties in this color range altogether.
However, it may be well to observe that the older light yellow type, such as the Yellow Queen, should not be entirely forgotten in favor of the newer orange varieties.
This old light yellow tomato is too good to be lost to cultivation.
It should also be better known that yellow tomatoes canned with the addition of pineapple (¾ tomato to ¼ pineapple) make about the best and cheapest fruit to be had.
If the tomato seeds are removed, many will not recognize the combination.
Then there is the feature of a slip-skin or “easy-peel” tomato, which has been neglected in breeding our commercial varieties.
This facility is now offered in a red-fruited tomato, the Peron from Argentina.
This easy peeling feature has been found in a few other varieties, notably the small-fruited Carter’s Fruit tomato, a British variety, and some private stock or “heirloom” selections of American home gardeners.
But this introduction from South America seems to be the only variety of the type now commercially sold.