Jupiter Farms: How to stretch water

The other day as I watered my garden, I was reflecting on a time when a watermelon farmer told me how to stretch water.

In 1976, I moved to Gainesville, FL and went to work for the West family who were expanding from growing watermelons to growing interior foliage plants.  They built some greenhouses and hired a Manager/Salesman named Pete B. to sell the products.  I was hired as the grower in the greenhouses and Pete went out and made the rounds finding customers and selling plants.

One day while Pete was out on his rounds, I was talking to Mr. West about why he was running the sprinklers on the watermelons when it had just rained.  He told me it was best to water right after the rain since the ground was wet and it would "stretch the water".  I thought this was a clever idea and it stuck with me.  It is not wise to dispute what crafty old farmers tell you.

I stayed on at West Farms Nursery during 1977 and one day found a kitten who had been attacked by an animal.  Mr. West picked up the vet bills, the cat lost his tail but came to live with me with the name of Bub.  And then on August 16, 1977 Pete returned from his rounds with the news that Elvis had died.  All in all the West Farms experience was a great one.