Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Fruit of His Labor

With an unlikely first crop, our son has proven to have quite the green thumb.

Our six-year-old has told us for years now that he wants to be a farmer when he grows up. Just when we started worrying about what that would entail, he added, “and a veterinarian.” So, at least he has something to fall back on when the harvest goes bad.

One day while enjoying fresh cantaloupe at his local grandparents’ house, Benjamin said that he would like to plant one of the seeds. Encouraging any effort to learn by doing, G helped by providing a small ceramic pot that she probably had used for seasonal flowers. They buried the seed and, with the summer sun still beating down, set the pot on a baker’s rack on the back patio.

(click any pic to enlarge)

Not long after planting the seed, they saw a small leaf on the end of a tiny vine. Soon that grew into a longer stalk and several more leaves, with a hint of a small cantaloupe under one of them. The plant had spread to the next shelf above the pot.

Before long, the plant outgrew its home, so they moved it to a large pot that sat on the patio. The vines remained wound around the baker’s rack.

[photopress:IMG_2184_sm_blog.jpg,thumb,alignleft]Now three cantaloupes about the size of softballs sit on various shelves, and a marble-sized one hangs from the vine. The leaves look a bit ill, but the melons show no signs of duress.

Our son is a fruit farmer, raising melons in north central Texas.

Just a few minutes of research shows that the cantaloupe was developed in the desert, and prefers sandy soil. Also, planting the seed in hot weather is recommended. Well, we scored on the latter. Since the plant is way too big to bring inside now, and it’s getting cold in this area, I’m not sure Benjamin will get to enjoy the, um, fruit of his labor.

[photopress:IMG_2182_sm_blog.jpg,thumb,alignright]Regardless, the boy has had a great time with it. Maybe next Spring we can start a small garden.

Here’s hoping he doesn’t try to start developing his veterinary skills yet. I don’t think my heart, however healthy, is ready for that call from the neighbor regarding their missing cat.

Maybe he can start out with something simple, like how a cocker spaniel responds to eating cantaloupe raised on a baker’s rack behind a townhouse.

3 Responses to Fruit of His Labor

  1. You’re right on one thing… learning by doing is the best way! Congrats to Ben for learning AND doing!

    I wish there were some way to keep it going.
    Maybe you could build him a greenhouse!!! *chuckling*

  2. That is awesome, maybe he and Austin can get in the farming business together. Austin loves to grow fruits (and veggies) too. We have planted several things, and the latest one is a pear tree. 3 seeds just to increase our chances. lol

  3. That reminded me of the time our eldest brought home a plastic cup, stuffed with wet paper towels, seeded with a few beans inside. We kept it moistened on our windowsill and all marvelled when it started to sprout. We had to transplant it twice into progressively larger pots, and currently have a second generation of bean plant now sitting on the same windowsill, surrounded by moist paper towels.

    Through it all, our boy’s wonder at watching something grow through his own efforts (well, mostly just observations, but still) has been the most rewarding thing.


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