by Lia Jonsson

Unfortunately, World Food Day slipped by pretty much unnoticed this year.

It was Thursday, October 16, and most of us went about our business pretty much as we normally do, without giving much thought to those who might be going to bed hungry.

Perhaps, that is the way it normally is. But those of us who are somehow involved in the raising and growing of food – even if we can’t quite be classified as “farmers,” try to keep track of the special events and named days that also focus on food, farming and worldwide hunger issues.

The 2014 theme for World Food Day was Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth.

At Green Phoenix Farms, we have a special interest in raising and growing “good food,” the kind that nourishes minds, bodies and communities and leads to health and well-being.

So, I am sorry we missed World Food Day this year. The day was first celebrated in 1979, and recognized the creation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization on October 16, 1945, in Quebec. Today, Canada and the United States are at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness and find ways of fighting worldwide hunger. More than 60 organizations, universities and companies actively participate in those efforts. Next year, Green Phoenix Farms will have World Food Day on its calendar.

Discovery of a New Taste Treat 

WP_001803 Today, I want to tell you about a new discovery – a new love, if you will. It started as a small seed in our system here in Mansfield – we watched it sprout and develop leaves. We watched it grow strong and flower. And we watched the fruit develop and grow to baseball (or maybe softball) size.

Our first Tigger Melon became the darling of the media growing bed adjacent to our office steps. It got a lot of attention as it developed, changing its stripes from striated two-tone green to a blend of orange and yellow. Several more followed suit and we celebrated them all.

Finally, we could wait no longer. It was time to try it!WP_001806

That’s when it was confirmed. We are dedicated and official Tigger Melon fans. We even saved some seeds for planting next season!

The fruit is firm, the texture of a cantaloupe, with a delicate, pleasant flavor and a delicious scent. The melon, originally from Armenia, is easily grown from seed, and heirloom seeds are available from numerous sources, including Amazon. They take between 80 and 90 days from planting to maturity, and will keep almost two weeks if refrigerated after picking.