Today was the day we at Pine Crest School have been waiting for: the first watermelon harvest. The seeds for "Farmers Wonderful," a seedless variety of melon, were sown on March 23. On May 5, we were blessed with "Bouncing Baby Wasandra," the first melon we noticed in the patch.
The students watched with much anticipation as the melons grew and grew. The praying mantis egg sacs that were placed in the garden on March 21 hatched around May 1, just in time to combat any intruders that wanted a little taste of the sweet fruits.
The largest melon that we harvested today was 19.4 pounds. We took a total of 44, and I expect to see two to three more harvests like this over the next several weeks.
The taste of the watermelon is FANTASTIC!! I really have not tasted watermelon like this since I was a little kid eating melons from the local farmers in Pennsylvania.
It was a lot of fun growing the melons, as this was my first time. I was a little nervous. All eyes were on the watermelon patch.
If this is what summer tastes like ... bring it on!
Chef Don Janezic is SAGE's food service director at Pine Crest School in Boca Raton, Florida.