A farmer is growing cube watermelons in Lebanon. George Haddad grows watermelons in Jezzine of Lebanon which come in cubic shapes. In Haddad’s words:
“There’s a Lebanese saying: you can’t carry more than two watermelons in your hands. I say I can carry more than four. My business is small, but it will grow and expand.”
Haddad has been into photography profession in his youth. Now in his sixties, Haddad adopted farming, whereby he has been farming in “Jezzine’s Labaa”. He decided to make the shift when he discovered the technology development leap and he realised that he wouldn’t any longer be able to “compete in the photography field”.
The farming of cube watermelons began due to a chance discovery as Haddad came across a watermelon that “trapped between two rocks” thus growing in a cubic shape. The melon thus found, gave Haddad the idea of creating a wooden mould which will help in the shape altering of watermelon that grow in it.
Nevertheless, Haddad’s wooden frames didn’t serve their desired purpose as they were broken down by the strong watermelons as they outgrew the mould and cracked them open. The experiment was then repeated, this time with glass mould. However, even then the pressure exerted by the growing watermelon could not be sustained.
Following these failures, Haddad went to make several attempts, before he finalised a “25-centimeter” mould made out of plastic and held together with “24 screws”. At present, Haddad owns twenty five moulds while manufacturing costs “$50” each.
After the shifting takes phase, whereby the watermelons are transferred from soil to the moulds, the fruits needs to be watered for twenty days during which the fruits grow into cubes weighing 6kgs. At this point, the screws are removed to dismantle the moulds and to remove the cube watermelons. Moreover, Haddad informed that:
“I am not after profit. I have many regular watermelons growing in my fields. But it’s a joy to present gifts to people and merchants who buy agricultural products”.
Furthermore, he added that one could also engrave the “names of loved ones or corporate brands onto the rind of the cube fruit”, as he informed:
“I will try my best to continue making molds so that I can hold on to this land that blesses us with its fruit”.