Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Melon Experience

I have been a farmer most of my life but my first experience of planting a seed was when I was 5 or 6 years old. Someone gave me honey dew melon seeds. I decided to plant them just west of our house. The soil was sandy and it takes a lot of watering to keep things growing. I dug up a small plot and planted four or five hills. It was close to the windmill so I kept them watered good. It didn't take them long to sprout and come up and they had good vines.

They started blooming, then came the little melons. About a month went by and I had several good sized melons. I decided to check one of them and see if it was ripe. It was still green so I waited a week and checked another one. It was still green. This went on until I had no more melons. I was really disappointed.

That fall the person that gave me the seeds asked about the melons and I told him what had happened. He started laughing and told me that they were green when they were ripe. So much for my honey dew melons.

Years later we planted watermelons down by the orchard. It was when the kids were still home. We had a beautiful patch of melons and they were big. I checked one and it was still green. I told my neighbor, who was known for raising good melons, and he said he would come and show me how to check and know when they were ready. He picked some and said they were ripe---no, they were green! I had a truck-farmer friend tell me he could pick out ripe ones but they were green, too! There were other people who told me they could pick ripe ones, too, but they were all green. They never ripened, they just started rotting.

I checked with K-State and they told me sometimes that happens. I never did raise good watermelons but several years we raised big cantaloupe that were wonderful.

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