Ninety days ago, the sun beat down on my boyfriend’s sweat-laden back… I directed him to build perfectly-raised mounds of earth. We scrupulously followed the paper packet’s instructions, and inserted “Orange Tendersweet” seeds that promised luscious, sweet, orange, juice-dripping-down-your-face [you get my drift] watermelons.
Here comes the rant: what did we get for all that labor? For three months, I watched. For 12 weeks, the anticipation grew. For 120,960 hopeful minutes, we nurtured these budding orbs.
The day came for the first plucking (keep in mind that “F” word). We carried 35 pounds of promise into the kitchen and carefully sliced into our first harvest.
WTF! Where’s the effing fruit I was promised? What did we get? A bunch of pasty yellow watermelons that weren’t sweet, weren’t orange, weren’t fun, and weren’t worth the wait, and definitely weren’t worth the massive amount of trash left behind.
While the vines were pretty and decorated my yard with hundreds (literally) of cute yellow flowers, what I really wanted was at least one freaking tasty, glorious watermelon.
A Google search confirmed that we had followed the right test on when to pick the fruit. “Look for the first tendril closest to the watermelon. If it is curled and dried, it should be ready.” The thumping on the side might work for some people, but I don’t know the perfect pitch for a ripe melon.
“F” Burpee seeds. “F” Google. “F” little yellow flowers that produce four tasteless effing melons.
I’m off to the farmer’s market to find a melon from someone who knows what their doing. See you next week when I find out whether my Armenian Yard Long cucumbers were worth the wait.
If anyone knows what I did wrong and would like to educate the rest of us, please add your two cents. It’s worth more than the seeds.
Patricia Bainter is a blogger and writer for 303magazine. She trained at Le Cordon Bleu London and shares her culinary musings and recipes at her own website ThePatricianPalette.com. Photos taken by Mark Woolcott Photography.