Saturday, June 18, 2011

Watermelon Elementary: Harvest Part 1

We actually had clouds and rain this week, so I took the opportunity to take some harvest pictures. It’s usually too bright! The rain we got today and yesterday was the first real rain that we’ve had since probably February. It was so. dry. here. But not so much now – we’re sure thankful that the Lord sent us some rain.

Just before the bus crews got rained out, I snapped a few pictures!

We harvest watermelons with convertible buses. Our crew comes from Florida and works our watermelons for harvest. Then they go up to Delaware to do it all over again. They bring some buses with them, and some stay on our farm between seasons. They do bring a repair truck and mechanic to keep these old things running!

001This bus would have made my commute to school a whole lot more interesting!

In each field there are at least two crews, usually more. In this field, there were two cutting crews and two collecting crews. Each crew has about four or five guys plus a bus driver with the collectors. For example, two groups of five guys cut the watermelons from the vines and two more groups of four collect them and put them in the buses for transport to the barn. Each bus driver takes a full bus to the barn and hops on an empty one to head right back to the field. We probably have 10 or 12 buses in use this year.

These buses are something else. Where else do you think Brad would have gotten the idea to use a bus as a chicken coop?! We know how to put an old bus to good use around here!

The cutting crew goes through the field and cuts the watermelons that are ripe.


They roll the cut watermelons over with the belly side up so that the collecting crew can see them easily.

028Yellow bellies shining on the watermelons waiting to be collected. The belly of the watermelon is usually yellow when the watermelon is ripe. The belly has no color because it never sees the sun. It’s more like the watermelon’s bottom!


And a video of cutting and rolling.

Just behind the cutters are the collectors.


I don’t know how these guys do it. I spent 10 minutes throwing watermelons tonight to bust them for the calves, and I WAS BEAT!

More later on what happens when the buses get to the barn! We’re in full swing now; go buy some super sweet GEORGIA watermelons!

See the other Watermelon Elementary posts here.


Meredith said...

Ashlee, this is just fabulous! Thank you:)

AA said...

Love this!!