We are the epicenter – how to eat rotting watermelons

There have been a bunch of aftershocks since the August 23rd earthquake. A number of them have been right on Twin Oaks property, one of them (only a 2.0) just a few hundred feet from Tupelo where i am now writing.

You can look at this a bunch of ways.  The dull scientific way is to say, “There is no significance to these locations, other than unpredictable geologic activity.”

The way i prefer to look at it is that Mother Earth is saying, “Hey, look over here at what these people are doing.  This is a way you can step out of your addictive, crazy relationship with money and materialism. You can have a highly flexible work life, you can grow and eat your own healthy food.  If the whole world lived in this cooperative way, consuming radically fewer resources than their affluent neighbors, you would have a real chance as a species.”

Part of this is about eating watermelons.  For reasons which are mysterious to me (but i have not asked around), we grow far more watermelons than we can eat in the harvest season.  This means for weeks and occasionally months after they are harvested we have them all around the commune.  We give some to our neighbors and friends, but we still have a bunch.  What happens with watermelons as they sit around for a while is they get mushy inside and less desirable.  But they don’t get mushy internally in a uniform way.

Watermelons tend to get mushy around the seeds first.  This means if you have a surplus of watermelons you need to cut them open and carve out the high intensity seed area and throw it away, so you get the better quality watermelon fruit.  If you don’t do this, when you bite it you would say to yourself, “This watermelon is mushy,” and then you would stop eating them altogether.  Part of  growing your own food is that you move away from the “is this apple perfect?” mindset and move into the “what pieces of this fruit can i enjoy?” world view.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

8 responses to “We are the epicenter – how to eat rotting watermelons”

  1. drebsays says :

    It is so awesome you wrote about watermelons today. I just read about the origin of your watermelon surplus today – in Journal of a Walden Two Commune, The Collected Leaves of Twin Oaks Vol. 1. It was in the May 1967 newsletter.

    “There is a certain portion of land the Mr. Jones has kept in the soil bank but has obtained permission to plant watermelons in. It is a pretty big patch that Mr. Jones plowed up for this purpose; but we didn’t want to waste it, so we put in as many hills as the patch would take, using five different varieties of seed. Mr. Jones calculated that the patch should yield 240 watermelons this summer! Just how nine people are going to eat 240 watermelons I am not sure. I have in mind supplying the Jones family and our other neighbors; the local stores can absorb a few; and they tell me the deer sneak out of the nearby woods and nibble at them. But I remain dismayed. Watermelon doesn’t freeze or can. Pickles are made only from the rind, and even the pigs eat just so many. Does anybody have a recipe for watermelon sherbet?”

    Mr. Jones was the person the farm was purchased from. He was technically still the owner of the farm at the time this was written (I believe they closed in June). I think the author was Kathleen Kinkade. I might be wrong about that, but I’m also reading her book about the first five years and the writing style seems to fit. I’m guessing the “soil bank” was referring to some program where the patch of land was not supposed to be farmed to give the soil a chance to recover from previous farming. If that’s the case, maybe watermelons don’t suck as much out of the soil. I don’t know, I’m just guessing on that one.

    After reading that bit of the newsletter, I was wondering if the watermelon patch had survived. It looks like it has. Beautiful.

  2. Aries says :

    If, hypothetically, you filled some of the watermelons with vodka or everclear, do you think they’d get eaten faster? Or used them in sangria?


  3. Ethan Tupelo says :

    Believe it or not, this could be classified as a poor watermelon year. While we harvested a few hundred, in the past three years the yield has been closer to 1000. I’m happy for this year’s amount to be the new normal, we we’ve saved lugging no less than 30 carts full of watermelons up to ZK. This is actually great because the demand seems to be way down this year at the same time.

    My guess is that the seeds area gets more fermented first because it is concentrated near the center of the melon, and that’s the part that ripens first, so it’s probably always a bit ahead than the rest. It is likely also the warmest part for the longest when they get direct sunlight.

    What really amazes me this year is that the squirrels haven’t rediscovered them and started eating holes into them.

  4. paxus says :

    Dearest Ethan:

    i was also surprised that the squirrels (of which there are lots around ZK because of the okara seem to have “forgotten” somehow about watermelons, which they were all over at the end of last years season.

    i am happy to have a smaller yield and sad to hear this has not been a good season.

    Paxus at Twin Oaks
    22 Tripoli Fall 2KXI

  5. Tikva Bethany Adler says :

    Pax, your interpretation is fantastic. I was imagining that grumpy conservative neighbors might have interpreted the earthquake as GOD SMITING THE HEATHENS. Hopefully no such neighbors actually exist (I don’t remember any).

    I hope the damages/mess didn’t cause a lot of strain on the community or drain a lot of resources to fix up.

    Miss those yummy melons. MMMMM


  6. jSun Finn says :

    Watermelon jerky is delicious! Dry it.

  7. brthomas says :

    I agree that watermelon jerky tastes great. Drying some of your overabundance will allow the watermelon to be enjoyed long after the harvest season is over. Marinading the watermelon slices before drying produces watermelon-lime or watermelon-wine jerky chips that taste even better.

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