Thursday, September 4, 2014


 Sometimes, you get a surprise that is not quite what you were hoping for.

Last night, the First Ever Melon was hanging stoutly on it's vine.
I check it daily, every time I walk by the terrace garden.
Exciting stuff!

This morning, it was gone.
I poked around through the tall vegetation outside the fence,
where that massive thistle used to be,
and found several wilted melon leaves.
As if someone had been tearing leaves off the plant, but not eating them.
Then I poked around the garden vegetation inside the fence, and found it.

But detached.

The size is fine for this type of melon, but is it ripe?
Or will it ripen off the vine?
I don't know how to tell whether a melon is ripe,
and judging from the behavior of melon-shoppers at the market,
neither does anyone else.

(And by the way, it took me three tries to figure out how to spell "whether,"
because usually I'm writing about the wethers, Acer and Betula.)
Speaking of the wethers - and also the weather, ha! -
a thunderstorm came up suddenly on Tuesday, and I had to hustle
 to move the wethers up from browsing the Lower West Side
to their shelter on the Upper West Side.

All the other goats were in three paddocks,
with the connecting gates open between
and four available shelters of various sizes.

By the time Acer and Bet were all snug and comfy,
munching hay and jawing about the time they Almost Got Rained On,
I was soaking wet.
I am always the wettest of the group after these operations.
In fact, sometimes I am the only one who gets wet.
Go figure.

Back in the house and dry clothing, I checked the goatcam.

And found...

to my surprise...

for the first time in the history of Cloud Harvest Cashmere...

NINE goats
QUIETLY resting

I hope you aren't disoriented by overlapping, distorted, wide-angle goatcam snaps.
It's an overhead view of the 10x10' east stall in the new barn. It's square, honestly.

For a person like me,
who values a Peaceable Kingdom above many things,
a moment like this is pure magic.
I hope you enjoyed it, too!


  1. All sorts of surprises happening there lol glad you found the 1st ever melon.

    1. Me too! While I was pawing through the undergrowth I was muttering, "Nothing bigger than a softball can just disappear!"

  2. Ask your handy dandy produce guy at the grocery store how to tell if it's ripe...not that he will know, but he might like the conversation. Glad you found it - LOVE those goats! You've made my Friday morning, Quinn - XOXOXO

    1. That's a good idea. If I get to the market soon, I'll ask! If not, I'll have to take a chance...fingers crossed I'm not going to feed the First Ever (unripe) Melon to the hens!

  3. I read somewhere recently that you can ripen supermarket melons, of the honeydew and cantaloupe varieties, in a cool place, turning them each day until they smell nice and melony. I tried it and it worked - best melon ever!
    Looks like yours is a watermelon so not sure if they work the same way? How weird that it disappeared for a while! Glad you found it though :)

    Your little goats look so warm and cosy all snuggled up together :)

    1. Oh I hope it's true for watermelons! And even if not, I'm glad to know that about cantaloupe, because I've often bought them before their peak, but didn't know how to "fix" them. Thanks, Lesley!

  4. Ripe or not, its a good looking watermelon. Reminds me of the kind my Da grew, small round ones that are very sweet. The goats are adorable hanging out like that.

    1. It really is pretty, isn't it? A perfect globe, and I think it's MUCH nicer looking than a big, non-round melon. I'll be spoiled now, and will have to grow them (or try to!) again next year.

  5. I was always told to press gently round the spot where the stem sprouted from and that if it gives to your touch then its ripened off.
    Not sure if that goes for watermelons too but its certainly spot on for honeydews and canteloups etc


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