And where is my watermelon?

30 Jun



This is probably the question that we hear the most, when we visit the 11 places that are scheduled on the itinerary of our mobile farmers market: FRESH on DEK! During the past 4 weeks of June, the DeKalb County Extension’s staff has served about 1,000 customers who have come to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, interested in eating them with their families while improving their lifestyles. But, almost every market day, we all smile when we hear the question: Do you have any watermelons today? I think it’s the most popular crop, but unfortunately our mobile market unit that brings fruits and vegetables to food desert or low access areas in our county, cannot store, load and distribute this usually heavy and large vegetable during our weekly stops. There are several publications from the University of Georgia on watermelons, and we can learn a lot about the requirements for transportation, storage, temperature and this delicious crop. Please visit, for more information.

I would like to share with you some interesting facts about this crop, which will be one of the most consumed during the 4th of July weekend holiday. Watermelon is a vegetable, if we consider the way it is planted, grown and harvested. It is used as a fruit because of its sweetness and versatility when it comes to eat it. While we have fun eating a good piece of watermelon we can also think about their health benefits. There are over 100 different varieties of this plant belonging to the family of squash and cucumbers, but they all varieties have very low calories. It is quite remarkable the amount of lycopene, (“lycopene” by name) on them, only surpassed by tomatoes. Lycopene is considered a crucial nutrient in the fight against cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. Other important nutrients that can be found in watermelons include vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

Other key facts about watermelons include their importance as part of Georgia’s agriculture and even having the city of Cordele, known and recognized as the Watermelon Capital within our state.  Although our mobile market cannot offer a good supply of watermelons, we hope that during this summer time you can enjoy the delicious taste in drinks, salads, frozen snacks, favorite recipes or just fresh. There are many ways to consume and use the whole watermelon, just remember to wash it before eating it and storing it at 32 degrees to prevent souring. Have a refreshing summer accompanied by a good piece of watermelon!sandia 1

Here is a link for a very refreshing recipe!

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