Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The First Taste of the Year

We put our watermelon plants, started from seeds in peat pots, into the ground later than most experienced gardeners.  It wasn't intentional. There was just too much going on and the "getting the plants in the garden" kept getting bypassed for more critical checklist items.  Still, on mid June, we finally freed the melons from the confines of their baby pots, placing them in the soil tilled for our first experimental crops.

They started off slowly, not sure of what exactly was expected of them and not convinced any of it was worth the effort.  Our experimental garden is an odd, sort of D shaped thing.  We water regularly, using the gray water diversion system Joe engineered in our first very wet month here.  We diverted the gray water to the garden, so every time we wash our hands, dishes or clothes, and every time we take a shower, our garden is watered.  Waste not, want not....that was our theory.

About three weeks after we put our plants in the ground, I piled some old hay around all of my plants...old hay we'd knocked out of the 18 or so pallets we'd secured from a woman on Freecycle....she'd used the pallets to store hay for her horses, but was selling her farm and didn't need them any longer.  We got so much hay out of those pallets that all the plants in my little garden were nicely mulched.  And within a week those melons started to put out stems and tendrils, grabbing onto the lawn and the fence and never letting go!

Today we cut the first melon from her stem.  It was an exciting moment....these melons had been grown from seeds we'd saved from a very delicious store-bought watermelon we'd had last summer.  We really had no idea if our melon was ready or whether it would taste good at all.  Still, there was only one way to find out. I cut the melon and we headed in to weigh her....
First Melon Cut
Two melons, grown from seeds from the same melon 
but each with such different appearances

A whopping 11.75 lb!
 And then came the moment of truth.... Sweet and tasty?  Or dry and mealy?

Judy takes the plunge
Sure LOOKS tasty!
We each took a quarter of the melon and took a bite.  And we were rewarded with the sweetest, most delightfully textured watermelon we'd tasted in a very long time. It really brought back taste memories from childhood.

Mmmmmm  GOOD!
Yummy...yummy...eating in the garden..
right FROM the garden!
When we'd had our fill, we thought we'd treat the goats to the melon rind.  Do you think they were grateful?  Didn't you always hear that goats will eat ANYTHING?  Well, let me tell you, our two goats have developed quite an attitude when it comes to what they will eat.  Even though they were screaming at us while WE enjoyed our melon, they were NOT interested in eating our leftovers!

OK...I'll take a nibble...
Phuey!  You ate the GOOD part!
No WAY...I am NOT eating YOUR leftovers!
Where did you GO???????
Well, as I write this, I am preparing to leave to drive to DC to take my mother in for her cataract surgery.  It is about a 3 1/2 drive and I need to be at her house at 5AM.  I'll be up there a couple of days, staying long enough to drive her to her follow-up doctor's appointment before returning home.  While I am gone I will be remembering the sweet taste of that melon, our first "graywatermelon" of the season, and be looking forward to cutting into the next one!


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Good Morning Judy!! I've never had a garden and have to think that I would also be proud of growing something that even in your pictures, looks just delicious!!!! (I'm envious!!)
Have a safe trip to my neck of the woods!!

By the way, THANKS for the chuckle on your comment about the coffee-spoons!! Isn't it funny what "trivia" is floating around in your head? I've no idea how I know about them and have to admit that I've NEVER served or offered coffee to guests--Emily Post would be appalled!! :-)))

Sharon said...

That watermelon looks delicious! I figured they had to be ready! I don't understand your goats though, I too, thought they ate everything!

Have a safe trip and enjoy your time with your Mom, even though she's having cataract surgery, I am sure she will be glad for the time spent!

Chris said...

I vote for a meeting of online friends at Judy's!! Can't have a veg/fruit garden right now and really miss it. But I'm working on getting back to that life.....once again a great life post! Thanks!

Judy's Corner said...


I love it!

I'm up here in MD getting ready to head out to take Mom to her follow-up visit and then back home. I am SOOO looking forward to getting back and enjoying more melon!

And I loved your coffee spoon post!

Judy's Corner said...

Thank you Sharon,

I am being safe up here in the land of too many cars all wanting to be someplace else! Give me the country ANY day!

BUT, yes, we had fun visiting ... the surgery aspect is nice because she will have more comfort and better vision, but the visiting is a lot of fun!

Judy's Corner said...

Well..............Celllllllman.....what's the hold up? The watermelon is ripe and there is a TON of work to be done! Get your on-line invitations out there and lets get all of those eBay bloggers out here to WORK! (er...eat watermelon!)

mixednut555 said...

Oh, yummmmm!