The Garden Hog
It has been a while since I posted and I could make all sorts of excuses but you’ve heard them all before and probably wouldn’t believe me even though I am a nun and don’t lie…much. Anyway, the season may be ending but the memories have just begun. Any for me some of my favorite memories this summer have been at the Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s community garden and my garden hog.
Mid-June we had a big expansion at the BSCTC garden with the addition of the Growing Warriors Project. As you have already heard they added nine 12×4’ beds and although Todd Howard brought some plants from his greenhouse we were still short. So a few days later I went to the Mountain Comprehensive Care Greenhouse at Auxier and got some more plants. I got cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelon. They were all supposed to be small sized and the cukes and pumpkins were but the watermelon…?
I made two hills in one of the 8×4’ beds and put two plants each in the hills and went on my way. A couple weeks later while I was in Florida visiting my newest grandson I got a Facebook message from David Fryman, our Vet at the garden with a picture of my “garden hog” and the cutest little watermelon you have ever seen.
I was pumped. The following week when I visited the garden myself I noticed the vines had escaped the box and were wandering everywhere. And wander they did. We tried hard to keep them from strangling the peppers in the next bed.
They were acting a lot like morning glories with their take over the garden behavior. We did finally get them to head out toward the grass. (thanks to the BSCTC maintenance crew for not mowing them down.)
Mid-July they were looking ready to harvest so Tom & Joe (professor and IT guy, respectively) took one to a potluck the college was having that evening. Chilled and ready they cut it open and …white melon. “What kind of melon is this?” everyone asked and after a taste they decided it was an “unripe one”.
The story ends on a happy note. After a couple weeks they tried again and this time the watermelons were perfect. The BSCTC gardeners offered them to the Care Club to hand out to students the first week after school started and they were great.
They even had a couple left over to give to Don, the head of O&M at the college in gratitude for all the help his department has been to our team.
BSCTC is an institution of higher learning and regular learning too. I learned watermelon need room to grow and a hollow sound when you thump ‘em doesn’t necessarily mean they are ripe.