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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Librarian finds late-season vine outside Oak Ridge branch

  • She noticed the vine growing outside the Oak Ridge Branch of the Morehouse Parish Library this summer but never really gave it much thought.


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  • She noticed the vine growing outside the Oak Ridge Branch of the Morehouse Parish Library this summer but never really gave it much thought.
     
    Just the same, Carolyn Files watered what she felt was a watermelon vine throughout the drought of this summer.
     
    Last week, her efforts bore fruit. Literally.
     
    Files noticed a tiny watermelon growing amidst the flowers late last week. Arriving at work Monday morning, she was pleasantly surprised to see it was flourishing.
     
    Files said she and an employee of the village of Mer Rouge monitored the vine’s progress during the summer, never expecting it to produce fruit.
     
    “We first noticed the vine  in July,” Files said. “We watered it, not ever expecting anything to happen with it.
     
    Before any vine can bear fruit, someone had to sow the seed. Files said she must be the guilty party.
     
    “As best I can remember, it would have had to be last year that I ate some melon here one day,” Files said. “I dumped the juice and seeds on the plate just outside the door, and it took root.”
     
    LSU AgCenter crop specialist Terry Erwin said traditionally, watermelons are planted in the late spring and harvested in July and August. Fall melons, Erwin said, are uncommon in this part of the state.
     
    “They’re usually not as healthy and juicy as those grown during the spring and summer,” Erwin said.
     
    Files said she’ll continue to monitor the melon’s progress, uncertain whether the branch will have a celebration of some sort when it reaches maturity.
     
    “Those of us at the library and at Town Hall haven’t made up our mind yet what we’ll do with it,” Files said. “It may not be big enough to feed two people. Who knows? We just think it’s a hoot.”
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