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Watermelon wonder

Scappoose woman grows 23-pound watermelon in front yard


SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Barbara Hickman holding a 23-pound watermelon in her front yard on Monday, Sept. 26, in Scappoose.

Barbara Hickman of Scappoose grew a 23-pound watermelon in her front yard over the summer, something she has never been able to do before.

Hickman, who says she's been growing watermelons and cantelopes in her yard for 15 years, has never seen a melon grow so large in the Columbia County area. While Hickman said she also lost about half the seeds she planted in May, several of the seeds took off and grew to massive sizes. Her secret? Hickman said she doesn't know, but she was pleasantly surprised by the sweet fruit she was able to produce. Watermelons are typically grown in the dry region of Oregon's eastern high desert.