Melons crop up in South Side man's yard

September 9, 2010 5:05:57 AM PDT
This time of year Chicago residents can find fresh watermelon at the farmers markets, at the supermarket-- and now right in a South Side man's front yard.

Picture yourself walking east on 87th Street, just east of King Drive, and you run into Lee Frazier who's carefully stepping through his very leafy front yard. He's checking out his very unusual harvest.

"I didn't think that it was going to do this but it did," said Frazier.

At first you don't see them but they are there hidden under the lush vines. In all previous summers his has been a traditional lawn. Now, almost from out of nowhere comes the sweetest fruit of all.

It isn't unusual because watermelons are growing here in the Midwest. They are grown commercially in over 44 states. It's unusual because they are growing in Lee Frazier's front yard and it all happened by accident.

"Well, I was eating some watermelon one day and I had some seeds in my mouth and there was a spot over there in my yard that wasn't no grass. So I went over there and put them in there and I covered them up and in a couple of days they come up," said Frazier.

And they have been growing and spreading ever since. For three months now and when they ripen Lee is going to become the Good Samaritan watermelon man.

"I'll give them away. I've got a lot of sisters. I got a lot of friends," said Frazier.

Frazier, a retired career army man, says the melons are not yet ripe and the proof is in the slicing.

"Not ready. We have about another two or three weeks before they start turning red," said Frazier.

Let's hope those seeds are the kind that can produce a quality sweet treat.


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