Magic Melon is a special strain. Not only does it taste and smell like cantaloupe and honeydew melons, it also has a pleasant glowing effect that’s well.. magical. It was created by combining three super fruity and terpy strains: Mango Trees, Honeydew Melon, and Mango Sherbert. The result? A sativa-leaning hybrid that grows like a beast, with flowers full of mouth-watering flavor and terpenes.
Magic Melon is a Humboldt Seed Company “unicorn,” a title reserved for the best plants identified after a massive phenotype hunt. Dark Heart and The Humboldt Seed Company works with breeders and farmers to plant thousands of seeds to comb through, in order to find gems lurking in the gene pool.
These large population searches allow breeders to quickly discover rare recessive traits and exceptional specimens. After several rounds of culling weaker plants that don’t make the cut, the top 1% are selected based on their growth, vigor, hardiness, pest and disease resistance, and of course, finished flower quality. From these several finalists, one unicorn is chosen as a winner to be used for clone production and breeding stock.
Dark Heart connected with the breeder/farmer duo behind the Magic Melon: Nat, founder of The Humboldt Seed Company, and Daniel, owner of Briceland Forest Farms. The two worked together to comb through hundreds of Magic Melon plants in order to find a specimen that truly represents the essence of the Magic Melon.
Dark Heart Nursery (DH)
Briceland Forest Farms (BFF)
DH: Can you tell us a bit about your operation and what makes it special for pheno hunting?
BFF: Briceland Forest Farms is a multi-generational farm in the hills of Southern Humboldt County. We model our practices off the natural world in order to attain the highest quality crops while improving the health and diversity of the land and the soil for future crops. Because of this, the plants we grow can fully express their genetic potential in the natural world.
For cannabis, we do companion planting with yarrow, chamomile and other herbs because it can increase oil and terpene content, and we also use plants that attract beneficial predators and pollinators. These natural practices help create a perfect environment for plants to reach their full potential, and for us to see the best that each phenotype has to offer.
DH: That’s amazing. So after you popped about a thousand Magic Melon seeds then narrowed it down to 200, what were the remaining plants like?
BFF: The plants were surprisingly uniform in their germination, growth structure and coloring. As they developed and started to flower, they remained mostly consistent except for one or two slight outliers.
It wasn’t until later on in flower when the plants were putting on significant weight that the smells started to mature and each distinct profile really became more noticeable. Magic Melon doesn’t start to reek until late in the flowering cycle, so towards the end is when we really found that some plants had faint, subtle scents, and some were the complete opposite—they were loud, and smelled like either fresh cut melon, a leaky gas can, a startled skunk, or some combination of the three.
DH: How did you narrow the remaining 200 plants down to the winner?
BFF: The first step of our selection criteria was vigor and structure. As commercial cultivators, we know how crucial it is that a strain is vigorous and tough with a solid structure that can support heavy flowers, especially in the elements outdoors. It doesn’t matter how nice the flower is if the plant itself is frail and weak and breaks under weight or wind.
With this in mind, we chose the top 30% of phenos that especially excelled in growth, bud set, and overall plant health as a critical component of a winning strain.
Within this subset, we flagged plants that had especially powerful, interesting, and delicious smells. Within that smaller subset (about ten plants) we judged and scored them for smell, color, trichome production, and bud size and structure.
Once we looked into all these qualities, the standout plant was obvious. In fact, when Nat came down to walk through the finalists, I didn’t tell him my selection and waited for him to tell me which one was his favorite. He immediately picked the same one I did!
DH: How did you grow these plants?
BFF: We’ve grown Magic Melon in three ways at Briceland Forest Farm. The pheno hunt took place in our native soil light dep. It was grown in no-till living native Humboldt meadow soil. There is no greenhouse covering on our hoops and the plants are only covered for a few hours in the evening and then opened up again to the night sky.
We feel like these details are important because this provides the plants with the special terroir of Southern Humboldt which is often missing from the controlled environments and potting soil common in light dep crops. Since then, we have grown it in our outdoor full-term garden and as clones in a dep replant that finished on a natural light timeline in the fall.
DH: Are there any weaknesses that Magic Melon growers should know about, such as powdery mildew or pests?
BFF: No noticeable weaknesses. It is a strong grower and shows good resistance to powdery mildew.
DH: Last question–tell us a bit about the flower and what makes it special?
BFF: The cured flower is light green, almost sage colored with lavender and purple appearing when fall temperatures drop. It has a strong melon smell that wavers somewhere in between cantaloupe and honeydew melons. There’s more depth to it than just that, though. I would describe the whole smell, in its entirety, as a truckload of ripe melons with a leaky fuel tank that just ran over a skunk.
Cured right, it is one of the smoothest smoking flowers I know of. It has an almost refreshing quality to the smoke. I find the high from the flower energizing and uplifting. It inspires creative conversation and is one of my favorites for a daytime attitude shift.
DH: That sounds great. Thank you for sharing!
Anyone can experience the Magic Melon with Dark Heart Cannabis flower and prerolls.
To grow the Magic Melon, try The Easy Pot, a feminized autoflowering plant that comes in its own pot and is ready to flower. Magic Melon is also available in feminized seedling form. Both of these configurations are based on the pheno-hunt winning cut described here.
The clone-only, winning cut is available through retail dispensaries and direct order. To learn more about the strain, visit our strain catalog. Visit the webpage of Briceland Forest Farm and follow them on Instagram. You can also learn more about The Humboldt Seed Company through their website and Instagram.