Organic farming means developing a mode of production of fresh vegetables and fruits paying maximum respect to the natural resources, in order to conserve the environment and protect the consumers’ health.
Like all the varieties of fruit and vegetable products that are traded the most, even melons are now evaluated from an organic point of view, in accordance with the possible parasite control done through available phytosanitary products; nowadays, more attention is given to the organic farming and with this to the production of organic melons, as it is a farming that aims at prevention and acts especially to improve soil fertility, with the purpose to control, reduce or eliminate cultivation problems.
In particular, as to organic melons, one of the most worst problems is the control of weeds, because there is not a natural product that stops these plants from growing and it is not possible to use chemical weed killers. Therefore one of the difficulties is to control these weeds using only mechanical and physical means. To optimize the organic cultivation techniques of this fruit and vegetable product, it is possible to use a “false seeding”, other varieties of plant of melons more vigorous and rustic with cultivar rotations and a planting layout more suitable to create difficult conditions for the developing of weeds; it is possible to use specific means (for example weeding machine or harrows or even machines to flame weeds), or mulching, techniques with whom soils are covered in order to limit the development of weeds, taking away light and air and in some cases keeping the soil temperature.
There are always more producers that choose to produce organic melons.
Fruit and vegetable products deriving from organic farming are obtained using methods that permit to use only substances of natural origin. Companies that produce organic melons follow this method during the fertilization period of this plant.
It is an extremely important step for the consumer, as it outlines the quality of the process and of all the entities involved in the production of melons, guaranteed by the label of the organic fruit and vegetable product on the international market, with fruit and vegetable companies for the production of certified melons according to the EU norms of organic farming, to the European Regulation 2092/91, later annulled with the new CE 834/2007, created to protect the environment. The label, is thus a "certification" of valid, healthy and higher quality fruit and vegetable products.
Among the varieties of melons suitable for organic farming, the most popular are:
- BAGGIO: medium-late variety of melons with a staggering ripening period. The fruits are ovoid, medium-large, with a dense netting and thick ribs that form dense slices. The flesh is intense orange, firm and sugary. As it keeps well after the harvest, it is appreciated a lot in the import/export market.
- HELIOS (OR YELLOW MELON): the yellow melon is also known with the name "Melone d'inverno", because it can be stored for a long time, sometimes until January. Even though known and consumed as a fruit, actually it is a vegetable of the Cucurbitacee family. The fruits are medium, the skin is quite hard and intense yellow, quite smooth, usually free of ribs. The flesh is white-yellowish (for this reason also called White melon), fleshy, very rich in water, quite flavoured and sugary, with yellow seeds