I'm not quite sure why it pleases me so much, but I am inordinately happy to have a rockmelon in my fridge that I grew myself. It's probably because it had never occurred to me to grow rockmelons and indeed the only reason I bothered was because one of my workmates tossed a packet of Jamie Durie seeds on my desk that had come with a press release.
I figured it couldn't hurt to whack some in the ground. Ground, I might add, that I had buried Bokashi in. Lo and behold all eight or so seedlings came up. Knowing how big the vines could get I had to be brutal and pull out all but two to give any a fair shot at survival.
Survived they did.
But, as I posted about a few weeks again, we ended up with an enormous expanse of vine, smothered in yellow flowers ... but no fruit. While Shaun and I stood there wondering how we could entice bees to our garden to carry out the necessary pollenisation we spotted something. A couple of good-sized melons, hidden under the foliage. Was a pretty funny moment!
And so we diligently watered them. They grew. The webbing on them turned brown. The more they grew, the more impatient we grew. We were keen to feast on our fruits!
So, at my mum's suggestion, I cut a small sliver out of the ripest looking (and hollowest sounding) rockmelon. The sample looked good, but it clearly wasn't ripe. So I popped it back into the fruit, with the great idea of putting masking tape over the top to keep any ants out. (I personally thought this was a good idea!)
It didn't really work. A couple of days later I saw a heap of sugar ants trying to make it into my melon.
So we picked it.
Then we excitedly cut it open.
The verdict? Still unripe. But edible! Just not particularly sweet. We now know to leave the other rockmelons (we have about another 6 growing) longer - until they pull away easily from the vine.
Now, those I am really looking forward to...