Every year it seems that we end up with at least one thing in our garden that we did not plant. Two years ago we has some adorable teensy tiny volunteer tomato plants, last year it was the attack of the “birdseed” sunflowers, and this year we had two “mystery plants”. Normally we are pretty good at identifying our volunteer plants, but this was a tough one.
We were pretty sure that it was a pumpkin. You see, in the fall we always buy a couple of pumpkins to sit on our doorstep and welcome our visitors. As the season goes on, our pumpkins start to look less and less welcoming. So, once they reach a certain point, we just set them in our garden. The theory is that they will rot and wither away, and in the spring we will some lovely little pumpkin sprouts in it’s place. It has worked for us before.
Well, not this year. We thought all along that these plants were going to provide us with our fall pumpkins, and about a month ago we realized how wrong we were. Little itty-bitty cantaloupes appeared on the vines. Let me tell you, this was much to my husbands dismay. If there are two things the man does not like, they are cantaloupe and cucumbers, in that order. We are assuming that they must have come from some cantaloupe that ended up in our compost bin and was turned onto the garden plot as we spread compost. (And by the way, I say “we” as if I actually took part in the manual labor of turning or spreading compost. Hehehe.)
B-Bear and myself were thrilled and have enjoyed watching them grow. Last week I decided that it was time to break in to one of these bad boys and it made for a fun little activity for B, demonstrating that our nourishment comes from the earth and it’s resources. I don’t really expect him to understand that any further than, “This came from my garden. I picked it. I’m eating it.”.
We went out to the garden and B-Bear picked out which cantaloupe he wanted to harvest. He lifted and twisted, wriggling it away from the vines, all by himself. He even carried it back inside, and insisted on doing this by himself too. It was a struggle, but he did it. Then, I cut into it, revealing the perfectly ripe and sweet yumminess. (No that is not a word, but it fits so well.) We took it back outside and enjoyed it for snack time, fighting off Oscar the dog as we ate it.