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Compost pile produces sweet surprise

Urell Lutz and Ronella Winchester have spent many summers growing gardens together in Colleton County and hope for many more to come.  Photo by Christie Slocum

Urell Lutz and Ronella Winchester have spent many summers growing gardens together in Colleton County and hope for many more to come.
Photo by Christie Slocum

If you have ever wondered what a square watermelon would look like, I might have found your answer or at least I might have gotten close. Ronella Winchester and Urell Lutz, sisters who reside together in New Hope, could have never imagined how special their garden would be this summer. The two siblings spend most of their time taking care of each other and not so much on a garden these days so when the compost pile started growing this year it was a great surprise that has left the pair feeling blessed.

WatermelonThe siblings grew up not too far from where their home sits now. The girls were two of six children and still have a brother, James McMillan, who lives close by. Their father, Charlie McMillan, owned a grits mill, garage, and grocery store all in New Hope. The girls giggled as they reminisced about waiting on a customer to walk into the grocery store to distract their father so they could slide the glass door open on the candy counter so they could steal a Hershey kiss when he wasn’t looking. The girls credit their mother, Geneva, for teaching them how to garden. She stayed at home and ran a small farm and took care of the family’s garden.

Winchester admits she enjoys the yard work and gardening while her sister enjoys the inside work and it has been working out for the two of them since they have been living together for the past two years. This year Winchester only planted some butterbeans, so you can imagine her surprise when she noticed she had some volunteer watermelon growing, five to be exact. One of the melons decided to grow up in the hole on the cinderblock barrier she had set to keep the grass out of her compost area. They also had two hills of peanuts, several tomato plants and a ton of moon plants pop up as well. As soon as she noticed she had various plants growing she threw some 10-10-10 fertilizer out on the plants and they produced for a good part of the summer. Winchester credits the growth to never throwing fruit and vegetables away. Instead, she throws them outside into her compost area. She also adds a little bit of ash from her burn pile outside where she occasionally burns some trash. The mixture of the waste from the fruits, vegetables, ash, and soil made a great combination for a volunteer garden this year.

 

Christie Slocum (494 Posts)