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Here is some History surrounding The Hearts of Gold variety.

O.J. Vannoy was the first to grow Hearts of Gold in the Fallon area, in 1911.

They were grown here in abundance in the 1920s and 1930s.

Rick Lattin, with Lattin Farms in Fallon, said his family has been growing Hearts of Gold since the 1950s.

Nevada’s Hearts of Gold market crashed early in the century when California farmers grew hybrid varieties that stood up better to shipping. A few families kept the variety alive in northern Nevada, Lattin said.

Compared with hybrid cantaloupes, Hearts of Gold have a short shelf life, farmers said. Once ripened, they last approximately three days if kept cool.

The origin of The Hearts Of Gold variety is Benton Harbor, Mich., said Aaron Whaley, associate director of Seed Savers Exchange. The Decorah, Iowa-based exchange is a nonprofit group that saves and shares heirloom seeds. According to the 1937 publication “Vegetables of New York,” Roland Morrill crossed the Osage melon with the Netted Gem melon in 1890, Whaley said. It took Morrill a while to stabilize the new variety, Hearts of Gold, Whaley said. Morrill was granted a trademark for the variety on Dec. 15, 1914, according to www.seedsavers.org.

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