Organically & Locally Grown Watermelon
By Executive Chef Dale Van Sky
I am pleased to introduce to our menu an organically and locally grown watermelon from Rabbit & Raven Farms. This farm in Virgin, Utah (just 35 miles from Red Mountain) has been passed down from generation to generation in the Isom family. The most unique thing about the farm is that it's a "dry farm." Seems strange to think of a farm using very little water, but Rabbit & Raven is able to turn a small amount of water into sweet and succulent produce.
What is a dry farm? The fields are kept weed free allowing the soil to absorb and store winter rains. This gives the watermelon's extensive root system plenty of moisture to survive hot, dry summers with little rain. When it does rain, the farmers cultivate the soil to break up soil capillaries to radiate moisture. It also creates "dust mulch" to help prevent evaporation. As a result, water is retained by the melon at a slower pace so it ripens more slowly and adds more sweetness. It helps that the watermelon is native to the Kalahari Desert, and its roots can grow up to 12 feet into the soil.
No pesticides or herbicides! Rabbit & Raven Farms is committed to growing organic watermelons. They protect them from hungry critters (rabbits, ravens, coyotes, squirrels and gophers) by spraying the outside with a home-brewed solution made from garlic and fish oil. (Don't worry...we definitely wipe the rind before cutting the melon.)
We hope you'll join us at Red Mountain and sample the sweet melons from Rabbit & Raven Farms.