Growing Watermelons in Corn Season

The Topeka Capital-Journal, September 4, 2017 | Go to article overview

Growing Watermelons in Corn Season


By Amy Bickel

The Hutchinson News

ST. JOHN -- In a large field of watermelons, Renae Doggett listens.

Here in Stafford County, where the soil is sandy, there is one sound that matters. It's hard for her to explain it, the hollow tone she's discerning with every thump.

It is the sound of a sweet, ripe watermelon ready for shipment to Dillons stores and vendors across the region.

"You get your ear trained to know the right sound," said Doggett as she watched workers plucking the fruit from the vines on an August morning and then laughed. "You must have to have an ear for it. If you stand out here on your head long enough, you figure it out, you know what looks ripe."

Amid the county's conventional crop fields of corn and milo, it's watermelon and cantaloupe season at DeVore Farms near St. John. From July through September, the family and their employees work to harvest 200 acres of melons -- loading up trailers that are taken back to the farm, sorted onto semitrailers and shipped to the Dillons warehouse in Hutchinson.

They have pumpkins, too, which are picked through the autumn.

This is Doggett's family farm -- one that includes wheat and cattle, and something a little less traditional for the Kansas plains -- produce.

She and her brother Rus DeVore are fourth generation Stafford County watermelon growers.

Except for a time in the 1970s, this family tradition has been ongoing since Doggett's great-grandfather, Eugene Sayler, and grandfather, Gilbert Sayler, started hauling watermelons to small-town groceries in the 1930s.

"They did that for a living because there was nothing else to do to make a living," Doggett's mother, Patricia DeVore, 81, said of the Great Depression.

Rus said his grandfather was making one of his first trips to Great Bend with a horse and wagon when he realized he needed a different mode of transportation if he was going to be successful -- a car to deliver melons.

"All he had was a buckboard. With the buckboard, by the time he got to Great Bend, he would have had mush," Rus said. "So he went to the Chevy dealer and found a car for $15, and they let him have it with no money down. He told them he'd pay for it the next day. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Growing Watermelons in Corn Season
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.