Legend Produce LLC has begun harvesting Origami cantaloupes, a variety it now has exclusive rights to.
Firebaugh, Calif.-based Legend began harvesting Origamis in the Brawley growing area of California the week of April 21, said Barry Zwillinger, the company’s owner.
In 2013, Legend signed a deal with Modesto, Calif.-based Harris Moran Seed Co. that gives it exclusive rights to the Origami — a firm, high-brix melon with a tight seed cavity and long shelf life — said Stephen Tomasello, a Harris Moran spokesman.
“It’s a very sought-after melon that’s really taken off,” Zwillinger said.
Legend is partnering with Brawley-based Five Crowns Marketing, which is growing some Origamis in the desert. Legend will grow Origamis in the desert as well as in the Westside and Firebaugh areas, Zwillinger said.
After several years of trialing and growing small amounts of the Origami, Legend planted 500 acres last season, Zwillinger said. Other cantaloupe grower-shippers planted small amounts of Origamis in 2013, he said.
This season, Legend plans to grow thousands of acres, making it the company’s top cantaloupe variety. In addition to Brawley, production is set to begin in Yuma, Ariz., in early May; in Firebaugh in early July; and in Arizona again in late September.