Dressing up for harvest

Since I started freelancing and working from a home office ten years ago I can count the times I have bought pantyhose on two hands. But now pantyhose is on my shopping list – not for myself but for the Charentais melons in my garden.

After a short bout of panic the other day when I thought that the cucumbers, melons, zucchini and winter squash were affected by pests and disease, things are looking great now. I can almost watch the melons grow on the trellis. When they reach the size a bit smaller than a baseball, I place them in pieces of pantyhose (recyclable year after year) tied at the bottom and attach the top to the wire of the trellis with string. This way the weight is taken off the vines and the precious fruit is off the ground and off guard for groundhogs and other predators.

I cannot wait to pick the first melon, especially since there was basically no harvest in the rainy summer of 2009. The sure indicator that the melons are ripe is the fantastic sweet scent all over the garden.

I would write down my recipe for melon sorbet but I am going to wait on that. I don’t want to jinx things with too much optimism. Meanwhile I’ll go out and buy some inexpensive flesh-colored pantyhose.

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