Photo by luke kurtis

Fresh fruits and vegetables were a part of everyday life growing up on the farm. The best meals were always those prepared straight from the garden. While my parents were not farmers by trade–they were school teachers–they always had a garden of some sort. My grandparents, however, farmed on a larger scale. One of the crops I remember most clearly and associate very closely with my grandfather Earl Jordan is watermelon. Earl would load up the back of his truck (which I proudly drove in my teenage years after he had died), sit by the road, tailgate down, and sell the delicious fruit to passersby. Of course, there was plenty to go around for the family, too. We would all gather around the table at Grannie’s house, ready for a messy feast of some good ol’ watermelon. Careful not to swallow any seeds!

Watermelon wasn’t only a summer tradition for me growing up but for my parents, too. Dad recalls eating a lot of watermelon at his Grandpa Holcomb’s house. “He grew them, and I think he may have also bought some,” Dad reminisced about the old days. “Grandmother would keep some in the refrigerator and slice it off and eat it cold, but we also ate them fresh from the field.”

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