As stated previously, my day job is working for a very large delivery service. I love this job and I love the people I work for. My assigned route is delivering to a 55 or older community. This community consists of many customers which come from much colder climates to escape their brutal winter weather. Arizonans call these transient winter visitors "Snowbirds"for short. As the snowbirds go back to their summer homes, the neighborhood goes empty.
Early last summer, while walking my route, I noticed a vining plant growing towards the sidewalk. Each day It seemed to grow longer and soon it was starting to grow on the sidewalk. Being I am a backyard garden enthusiast, I was familiar with this plant. I knew this plant was a watermelon vine. Though this vine did not have any watermelons yet, I was still intrigued with it's growth. This vine was growing strong from the middle of the customer's yard. The snowbird was trying to convert his front yard to grass, but only had a few patches taking hold. It turned out this new grass area was once an old forgotten garden spot.
As the brutal summer returned and more 105 plus degree days came, the vine somehow grew longer and began to produce small watermelons. I continued moving the vines, which now multiplied to several vines crossing the sidewalk. This moving of the vines was more like moving the plant out of the way so no passer by wouldn't step on it. The moving took only seconds of my time, pushing the vines back to the yard.
The hot weather of the sonoran desert eventually broke as the snowbirds returned to their winter homes here in Arizona. Finally the day came when the customer with the watermelon vine returned. He was very surprised and happy to see his forgotten watermelon plant from the previous year had finally germinated.
The cooler weather took hold as the October days came. My snowbirds watermelon patch now had taken over the mans front yard and several watermelons reached very large sizes. He told me one watermelon was 28 pounds. As November came the vines started to die back and soon he had pulled the dying vines out.
After a few days of not seeing the man he made an appearance at his door. He saw me and asked to take a package for him. I went to his door and he handed me an extremely large heavy watermelon and said thank you for saving my plant this summer. I told him Thank you and I will return after work and pick it up. I returned after work to pick up the giant and bring the mellon home.
After returning home with the giant watermelon, my granddaughter asked if I would cut it open to eat. I couldn't resist so I did. The pictures above show what I found inside the green casing. The volunteer watermelon plant which was forgotten and managed to stay alive during the brutal summer had produced the sweetest of melons I have ever tasted. The above photos give you an idea of how wonderful the flesh was. I did manage to take some seeds of this amazingly strong weather resistant fruit. I shared some seeds with a coworker and gave him planting instructions. I also told him be patient with this one, eventually he would be very pleased with his results..
I guess the moral of this story is to help and share. I helped by moving the plant. The snowbird was so happy, he shared his bounty with me. In return, I shared the seeds and helped by giving some of my plant growing knowledge to my coworker. If my coworkers watermelon plant grows, he may want to share and help with someone too. Sharing, even a little keeps multiplying its results.
Bring a neighbor one tomato from your garden and tell him how you grew it. This one deed may multiply and someday. You may have another neighborhood gardener that gives his tomato to another neighbor.