Patience, of course, is a virtue, and it’s thanks to Ted’s own vigilant prudence that the Arboretum is finally eating out of the Patch. Weeks of wait, and a few early taste-tests, have finally heralded a solid harvest of watermelons, and just in time.
Ted recently filled two full cart-loads from the grassy knoll, a selection of Faerie, Shiny Boy, and Moon and Stars watermelons cut right from the vine and carted to the Arboretum’s restaurant.
So how did Ted know that the melons were finally ripe? In line with most of his innate garden practices, a quick rap of the fingers gave him all the information he needed to pluck them up.
“Thumping” watermelons remains a tride and true method of discerning a melon’s ripeness – Mark Twain himself was noted to be a believer, anyway:
“‘Think,’ and the watermelon is not ready,” he once said,”‘thank,’ and it is almost there. I know it to be ripe by its ‘thunk.'”
And Twain was a man who loved his watermelons. “When one has tasted it,” Twain famously remarked, “he knows what the angels eat.”
If the “hollow test” doesn’t convince you, other tips to deduce whether a melon is ripe include looking for a large yellow spot on the underside of the melon, feeling the weight of the melon (if it seems heavy for its size, it’s good!) or checking the tendril closest to the fruit. If it is dried and shriveled up, your melon should be ready to eat.