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Monday, August 12, 2013

Listen to the Melons.

Last week I had one true moment of zen in a week filled with the back-to-work after vacation kind of chaos.  I walked from the carrot patch to the melon patch on a mid-week, mid morning harvest last week.  My mind endlessly whirled through the to-do list of the week and the weeds laughed at me from the winter squash patch as I walked by.  The popcorn glistened and felt a smile creep in despite my annoyance at the weeds this season.  I landed in the melon section with the spectacular Powisset summer crew.  They had been picking melons all week while I was away and knew the routine.

When picking melons, the first thing I look for is a dead melon tendril nearest to the stem of the melon.  If the once-tender tendril is dry and brown, I gently turn the melon to the side, checking to see if there is a small yellow spot on the underside of the fruit.  If there is, I take one final measure to determine the ripeness.  I listen to the melon.  I tap it with my fingers and listen to the tone they give.  Does this help me at all…probably not, but it’s my moment to hear the melon, to try to get a sense of not just what a ripe melon looks like, but what it sounds like, what it feels like. 

Last Thursday, with the summer crew, the six of us spread out along the six watermelon beds.  A harvest that had only moments before been boisterous, the morning chatter at a good hum, was quieted.  For thirty minutes, we picked in silence.  We walked in silence, each of us systematically making our way down each row of melons.  We reached left and right, the plants sprawling and mixing with each other.  Look, listen, feel, fill buckets, watch your step, taste a melon, greet the morning bees, get another bucket.  As we were finishing up, I realized that I was taking deep, steady breathes as I played the melon seeker role.   Breathing in August…there’s not much of that as we try to keep up with the never ending list of crops to weed and harvest and plant and tend.  But here in the melons, I was breathing.  Among the melons and crew members I suspended the ‘to-do’ list mid rotation.  I nourished my brain and organs with oxygen and had some bites of melon along the way. 

We picked over two hundred melons from our little patch that day.  Each of us walked away from the patch with a melon in hand, fuel for our next task.  I passed my ‘little baby flower’ (that’s the name of the variety we are growing), from my right to left hand, grabbed by knife to pop the rind open.  I tore the melon in four pieces to hand out to my fellow pickers.  We smiled and continued our quiet melon harvest until we spit out the last seed into the field.

See you out there,
(I’ll challenge you to a seed spitting contest….)

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

At the Farm Stand:

Maine Wild Blueberries
The weather has kept us in suspense, but with the rains subsided and fields drying, we’re hoping to have a fresh delivery of Maine wild blueberries this week! Pints will be available for sale in the farm store, and pre-ordered bulk boxes will be here to be claimed.

If you’d like to order blueberries in bulk, sign up in the distribution barn, or email Tessa at

Bushel + Crumb pies will are back this week! If you are a pie share member, please remember to pick up your pie. If you would like to purchase a pie, we’ll have a few in the farm store for sale. Don’t miss this week’s sweet summer flavor: blueberry peach with almond streusel topping!

What's in the Share:

In the barn: carrots, lettuce, celery, chard or bok choi, cilantro or basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, leeks
In the fields: cherry tomatoes, beans, dill, sunflowers, chard


1 comment:

  1. I was searching on the internet for a line "the silence of watermelons" to check if it's common one, and came across this text. So happy to have found it, it is very extraordinarily plastic and beautiful. Tnx!