Monday, August 10, 2009
In A few More Days....
In only a few more days, Packards will partake of this beautiful watermelon. We have been watching it, sometimes checking it 5 times a day, carefully since June.
Fresh fruit, despite what one may think, is hard to come by around here. There are mangoes, in season, an occasional bunch of bananas, and other unusual fruits, including papaya, soursop (guanabanana), plantain, guava, on rare occasions a pineapple, and an abundance of coconut. None of these make a good sack lunch snack. Nearly all fruit is imported. A couple of weeks ago I scratched my head wondering how I could be on the Caribbean eating an avocado with a "Chile" sticker and a Red Delicious from Washington state. What the heck? Furthermore, the only fruits imported regularly are the apples, dry oranges, a few struggling strawberries, and grapes, at a mere 8$/lb. Sometimes there are melons, but they look squishy and moldy and are sold by the wedge. Once a street vendor had a whole watermelon. I would have bought it, but he wanted about $30 for it. I dejectedly shook my head and walked. We find ourselves yearning for any fresh fruit.
So, as an experiment, I threw these seeds in the ground. I found, to my astonishment, that they grew rapidly and with little care. After 10 years of failed attepted gardening in Arizona, I think I expected them to shrivel up and die a few days later.
But they grew. They grew more. They thrived....until the worms came to visit. WORMS!And the worms had no manners whatsoever, staying far longer than the socially-acceptable three-day visit. They, in fact, had no intention of leaving. So the battle began. Pest spray. Soap and water spray. Picking them off, at first with closed eyes, gloves and tweezers, throwing them quickly into a pail of water. Nausea. Later I became indifferent and just squished the little boogers between two fingers on the leaves, showing no mercy. "DIE, sucker, DIE!" I would think out loud. if you ask my kids what they did on their summer vacation this year, they might reply, "squish worms" (eerily reminding me of the nickel my dad paid us for each tomato worm we killed when we were little. I never made any money doing that).
Miraculously, we conquered worms in our desperation to have fresh melon. And now we watch, with frothing mouths, over the patio wall, the melons sit and ripen. So next time you are at Fry's/Smiths/Whole Foods, get a melon in our name an enjoy. ENJOY it, darnit!!