Amy shares her recommendations for her favorite books that celebrate the joy of growing and harvesting your own bounty.
The Garden Club of America announced the recipients of the 2021 national medals, the highest honors bestowed upon individuals or institutions by the GCA for distinguished achievements in areas related to its purpose. The Florens DeBevoise Medal is awarded for horticultural achievement in the fields of hybridizing, collecting or nurturing, and will be awarded to Amy Goldman Fowler, PhD for her work in the heirloom seed and local food movements.
Every year, the American Horticultural Society (AHS) celebrates great gardening literature. This year, “The Melon” was selected for The National Book Award. Amy Goldman’s personal commitment to growing and preserving heirloom melons, along with her clear expertise, pushed this book into the winner’s circle.
“The Melon” is large, lavishly illustrated as well as informative, well-written, concise, and clear-in fact, a first-rate reference book. Tucked between photographer Victor Schrager’ s gorgeous, seductive portraits of each melon are carefully researched variety descriptions and histories, advice on growing, primers on saving seeds and hand pollination, and a complete list of seed sources.
A sequel to Amy’s Melons for the Passionate Grower, published in 2002, The Melon delves deeper into the crop, including information on its history, taxonomy, growing methods, and seed-saving practices. Most of the book is dedicated to profiles of individual melon and watermelon varieties with accompanying photographic portraits that arouse the eye and tantalize the palate.
Amy has been growing melons for decades, since she was a girl. You might ask, as I did, what it was about the melon or watermelon that she didn’t already know, especially after doing the first book. The answer gets to the whole enterprise of lifelong gardening.
Amy offers profiles of 120 melon varieties, from the everyday to the obscure, illustrated with extraordinary photographs by Victor Schrager, as well as chapters on growing, pollinating, harvesting and saving melon seeds.
“The Melon” represents nine years of cultivating, studying, tasting and having Victor Schrager on hand to photograph 125 kinds of melons at her farm in Rhinebeck in the Hudson Valley.