Earlier this year, we planted watermelon in our garden in the village.
We also sent many of our followers packets with watermelon seeds, and hoped that they would take a watermelon journey with us.
We promised to send updates and further instructions at the end of the summer – and whelp, it’s hard to believe that is already here.
If you grew your watermelon at home – you know how fun – and messy – they can be.
The vines start easily enough, and grow in adorable little spiral-y tendrils that grab on to anything and everything it takes to help them to rise – a lot like the curly hair – and bright personalities – of the children in the village. Watermelon berries do not take a lot of time to plant, but they do provide a source of beauty to the season. We planted four seeds per inch – not the recommended three, as we were testing a new variety with the soil.
In the village, we are always struggling for cooking utensils – that are strong enough to handle the management of such a sweet ripe fruit. We managed to cut our watermelon into wedges, but there are so many creative tools and ideas of preparing a watermelon for a crowd.
To see some different tools, and ways of handling melons, check out this short video by Gimme Some Oven.
Maybe if the children are lucky, we could afford a watermelon baller by Christmas-time. They love to prepare new recipes and foods.
We hope you enjoyed your African fruit gift from the village this summer! We sent more than one hundred letters to invite advocates to join in on the project.
Did you try to grow a watermelon at home in your own gardens? If so, we’d love to hear your watermelon stories! And – a big thanks to all who joined our watermelon team. Please share below:
Oh, Watermelon. The Original South African Fruit.
If you canvas the seed shelves of American nurseries – you can even find it by name, such as a ‘Congo’-titled variety of the sweet pink fruit: ‘Congo Watermelon Seeds’.
If the children in the village have a love at the end of a rainy season – it’s watermelon. They love the bright pink, and green. Villagers stack the sugary melons high on the sides of the roads in small pyramids, like awkward oval legos, and barefooted little children scurry by – licking their fingers if they’ve been lucky enough to enjoy some of the sweet fruit of the season, spitting out the seeds, and carefully pocketing them to plant in some random corner for the next season to come.
Watermelon is a fruit that originated in tropical Southern Africa, and is actually classified as a large berry. The fruit contains the perfect nutrition for a hot day, and preserves moisture which is needed in the heat of the African savannah. There is evidence that watermelon travelled north to Egypt, where it was cultivated, and the seeds met with trading routes that have made this fruit a popular favorite all over the world…