|Not quite ripe.|
How very, very disappointing.You see, this was to be our first taste of delicious home-grown watermelon of the year.
We hadn't even planted it. It was a volunteer in our front flowerbed, seed likely landing in the mulch by way of spitting contest when the children were enjoying a cold slice of melon last summer. This spring, our boys came running in the house, excited to tell us that a watermelon plant was coming up right at our front door, and we let it grow.
We kept careful watch, rejoicing over the first blooms and again when the small green ball started to form. If you've never watched a watermelon grow, you might be surprised to know that they can literally double in size in less than a week.
Well, our first melon grew and grew. We waited and watched for signs of ripeness. Now there's a bit of disagreement among gardening folks about how to tell if a melon is ripe. We've tried several methods with varying results. The most accurate for us in the past has been to look for the tendril closest to the melon; when it withers and turns brown, the melon is supposedly ripe. It's not 100% for us, but it's worked some.
So I actually did wait. Really, I did. But my doubts and desire for sweet melon got the best of me. I broke down a little bit and thumped it. It sounded ripe and juicy. The closest tendril wasn't brown, but it was wrapped around a brown leaf of something else. That's close enough, right? I mean, it was so hot yesterday!
So pluck it I did. I chilled it. After supper, with a heavy sense of dread, I stabbed it with my big knife and started cutting. Before it split open enough for me to see, I knew. Yes, I knew. The smell was not sweet enough. There was too much resistance to the knife's blade. It was an unripe melon.
Luckily, it wasn't too green to eat. I sliced it all up and set it in a bowl on the back porch. "Come and get it!" I hollered, and the children came running from all over, quickly devouring practically the entire thing. I guess it didn't go to waste because they really enjoyed it, probably because they love getting messy outside and spitting seeds all over. And I'm okay with that, but next time, I'm waiting.
This post was shared at Monday's Homestead Barn Hop.