Melon / by Karie Luidens


Back in January I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Brett Maverick, who currently serves as Vice-President of the Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute (the community organization founded by Roxanne Swentzell in Santa Clara Pueblo, as you may recall). He had just finished curating a new exhibit at the Gutiérrez-Hubbell House, a historic property in Albuquerque’s South Valley that now serves as a museum space and cultural center. 

The exhibit title: The Seeds That Connect Us and Feed Us. 

I love that. 

And I bring it up today because I also love what I learned from a little panel Brett wrote about melons: 

Native watermelons and cantaloupes: Two of the few “native” crops brought to the New World by the Spanish. Sandias or watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) and melones or cantaloupes (Cucumis melo) are native to Africa with additional centers of breeding in ancient Persia (modern day Iran). Spaniards introduced melons to Mexico soon after their arrival. All farmers love to try new crops and by the time the Conquistadores reached New Mexico, melon seeds had already been traded ahead of their arrival, leading the Pueblos to claim melons as one of their native pre-Colonization crops.