Watermelon and Blueberries


I’m not sure if it’s stupidity or determination, but I keep trying to grow things that just are not supposed to grow here. I’ve been called a “bulldog” when it comes to my tenacity in trying to accomplish the impossible. So this post may be an admission of my defeat – or of a temporary setback.

My “Cuz’n Don” in Mississippi sent me some heirloom Moon & Stars watermelon seeds that originally came from Willie Edd Jones in Hurley, Mississippi – another Mississippi Jones relative. The note on the envelope from Don said he had received the seeds from Willie Edd’s watermelons last year. Willie Edd died on June 22, 2008. That’s all I know about the seeds at this point.

Here is another site that talks about these “seed-spittin’ melons.”

Please check out this Google site to see some great pictures of the Moon & Stars watermelons.

So after I received the packet of seeds from Don, I planted them exactly the way I remembered planting them when I lived in Mississippi eons ago. First, I soaked only a few of the seeds overnight (didn’t want to use them all up!), then I made three mounds and planted three seeds in each. I carefully tended the plants, and eventually one vine showed up (out of the nine seeds). This photo was taken on August 10, 2009.


I put something around the fragile plant to protect it from the local Mouflon sheep. Twenty days later, the sole surviving plant had grown a little. On a full-grown melon, there is one large yellow spot and many small yellow speckles, giving it the name of “Moon and Stars.” Even on the leaves of the vine, you can see the yellow speckles.


That’s all I ever saw of my watermelon planting efforts. The only one that sprouted simply shriveled up and disappeared!

Of course, in the rich Mississippi soil, Cuz’n Don had much better luck!! You can see a few melons hiding beneath the leaves.




Don sent some pictures of his granddaughter Hannah tending his watermelons.



Yes, I’m going to try again next summer. I still have seeds left.

But I have yet another ongoing attempt to produce alien food here on lava. I’m trying blueberries. I was given three blueberry plants that are bred specifically for semi-tropical climates. They are grown in Southern Florida as well as Southern California, so we thought that surely they would grow in the cooler climate of Ocean View at 2300 feet.




Then disaster struck!


I have no idea why these plants suddenly died. Only one blueberry plant in the middle survived. But then I was given two plants to replace the two that died. As of this morning, one of those has died also, and now I have only two healthy blueberries. We shall see what happens!!

Of course, Cuz’n Don’s blueberries in Mississippi fared much better. Here his family is picking blueberries . . .


. . . and eating them.


There are at least two secrets to growing healthy, productive plants It takes good soil and it takes occasional rain – and I don’t have either one.

But I’m not giving up!

A hui hou!

California Avenue Ambrosia

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A special thanks and big hug to my brother, Hilton Jones, who was my guest poster while I was away from my blog for several weeks. I spent many years living in California at different times in my life, but I had not been there to really re-live some of those days in a long time. I’m back home now, full of stories and pictures of my trip to California to visit family and friends, so you’ll be hearing about it for the next few weeks while I catch up on my gardening here in Hawaii.

Part of my journey included chauffeuring a friend who had recently had total knee replacement. The first Sunday I was there, he wanted to visit his favorite breakfast spot in Palo Alto. To our surprise, California Street was closed off for a Sunday Farmers’ Market. We managed to find a parking spot, eat a hearty breakfast, then wander through the market to sample the many varieties.

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There was almost too much to take in, and of course, there wasn’t much of it I could bring back home. Still, I had loads of fun talking with the vendors, buying a few things to eat while I was in California, telling them about my “gardening blog,” taking pictures to show my fans. This first post (there will be several) is about the variety of fruits I found there. I still didn’t get pictures of everything, even after making two Sunday visits to the market!

In 1997, the Urban Village Farmers’ Market Association was formed to provide local and regional foods. This page gives information on the other markets that are part of this non-profit association. Some are year-round markets, others are seasonal. If you are traveling through California, please stop and support this wonderful phenomenon.

One of the first stops I made was to the Triple Delight blueberry stand, since I try to eat blueberries every day. They are so delicious and super good for you. These were some of the plumpest and brightest blue I’d ever seen. I quickly got over my shyness and asked to take a picture of this lovely couple. I visited them a second time before I left to come back home to Hawaii. Both Sundays, there was a line-up of people waiting to get their blueberries. May they never run out of blueberries, because I promise to come back to visit again!

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It was cherry season, and there were several varieties of cherries everywhere! Even after a big breakfast, I couldn’t resist sampling the sweet red cherries and colorful Rainier cherries . . .

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. . . and the dark red Bing cherries. If I’d had an oven handy, I would have made one of my famous cherry pies!

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These colorful Rio Red grapefruits were so tempting.

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Strawberries were everywhere! Ever since I was a child, I think strawberries have been my very favorite fruit of all!

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The donut peaches were so cute – and smelled so sweet!

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Apricots have such a short growing season, so I was happy to be there on a weekend when they were on display. I had tried some from a local grocery store earlier in the week but they weren’t nearly as tasty as these from the market! Various vendors displayed combinations of apricots, raisins, cherries, and peaches.

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On our second Sunday visit to this wonderful market (and hearty breakfast), we stopped to chat with Nick, the vendor from Prevedelli Farms.

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Of course, we had to taste their fresh raspberry jam. My friend loves to make jam and calls it his “retirement therapy.” He bought a jar of theirs to take to his house. My luggage was already getting over-stuffed or I would have brought a jar home, too. Here you can see other products from the Prevedelli Farms.

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I leave you with this incredible display of Prevedelli’s fresh, delicate and luscious raspberries, as well as a glance at some of their other products.

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Since I can’t visit this market every Sunday, I invite you to go and check it out for yourself, then come back here and make a comment on your own reaction.

A hui hou!


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