Friday, September 21, 2007

Glad Tidings: A Bonus Watermelon

From four watermelon plants, I have produced a grand total of four watermelons. I suspect that an individual watermelon plant should produce more than one melon; therefore, I blame the poor quality of the soil for this pathetically low yield.

At the same time, though, I’m not exactly hurting for watermelon. Just one of these babies fills the fridge very nicely. I have picked two watermelons of the Crimson Sweet variety and eaten one and a quarter (with help from my mother, whose voraciousness with watermelons resembles that of a Kodiak bear). Although the seed packet says these melons can become 25-pounders, the larger of my two melons weighed in at 12 pounds and the smaller at 6 pounds. The flavor of both was as sweet as could be, much sweeter than any other watermelon I have ever eaten. These Crimson Sweets ooze fructose so intensely that it almost seems as though someone had dumped a box of artificial sweetener into my melons. To me, they taste a little unlike watermelons: the tongue hardly notices the slight tang of watermelon-ness while it wallows in all that natural sugar.

The Moon and Stars plants also produced two melons. I picked the first about a week ago, but I’ve been waiting until I’m done with the larger Crimson Sweet before opening it. My Moon and Stars melon is like a dark-green, yellow-spotted bowling ball, beautiful in form.

I thought, at first, that only one melon had developed on the vines, but after I removed the dying Crimson Sweet vines from among the other plants, I was astonished to see another Moon and Stars watermelon, almost as big as the first, developing beside a bushy coreopsis plant. It was a gift from the heavens: a surprise watermelon. That sort of good luck happens all too rarely in life. I consider myself fortunate indeed.

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