This is an open letter to the teens and parents of Comox:
Millie is five. Last May she planted watermelon seeds from a store-bought watermelon in the school garden. No one thought it would amount to much but she really wanted to try planting a handful of the seeds.
The adults were surprised when plants started to sprout. After all, who can grow a watermelon from a store-bought seed these days?
Millie went every week all summer long to water them. She (and everyone else) was delighted in August when she had seven perfect melons. She began to plan how she would share them with all of the teachers and kids in her school.
She wanted to keep the smallest one to give her grandma, who has never managed to grow a watermelon in all her life.
Today was the big day. She and her whole class went out to harvest her giant melons. She was so surprised and sad when they only found two of the seven left.
We didn’t tell her about the mess of broken melon littered all over the playground this morning. We had to explain to her that someone else had probably taken them. She wonders now if maybe they will write her a note to tell her if they tasted good.
Also, she’d like you to save the seed so you can plant your own watermelons next year.
It doesn’t matter what school it is planted at, or what child planted it. School gardens hold hopes and dreams of very young children. It may be tempting, but please remember what it might mean to the child you are taking from.
Please share this with your teens and talk to them about the choices they make when out and about on their own.
P.S. John’s Independent heard about what happened and kindly replaced the watermelons for Millie. Sadly it isn’t quite the same as the ones she grew.