Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mid-Winter Watermelon Dreams

In the deep of night,
layers between myself and the cold outdoors
I dream of tilled soil, and ripe
Crisp, juicy, seed-spitting watermelon.

May I emphasize seed-spitting...

Recently I asked my readers for garden stories from their childhood.  The stories that came back were magical and funny and filled with the great wonder I believe comes uniquely from time spent outdoors.  One of my favorite garden memories was picking watermelons, cutting them open and spitting the seeds at my brothers as we raced around the house.  Sweet pink juice covering our hands and chins.  

As it turns out, seeded watermelons are becoming a scarcity.  The markets are now full of cantaloupe-sized, seedless types.  What may not be understood is that if we stop buying (and wanting) these seeded treasures they could disappear.  Endangered watermelons....not a pretty thought.

Have a look at these beauties.

Blacktail Mountain Watermelon

Golden Midget watermelon 

Moon and Stars
The greatness of these summer gems is how easy it is to save the seeds from year to year and plant them yourself.  Sure it means sacrificing a few pings at your brothers but if the watermelons survive, isn't it worth it?  They do work best as transplants though, so begin indoors and transfer to your garden when summer is upon us.

So many varieties to try I can't wait to get started this summer.

What I can assure you is that I will not be inserting my watermelons into square, tempered glass cases to help save refrigerator space as they have done in Japan.  Fascinating....but creepy....  

Square Watermelons

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