Friday, June 22, 2007

What Happened to the Watermelons?

We enjoyed an early and long harvest of Florida red and orange organic seedless watermelons. Although the season for the orange ones ended a few weeks ago, members are still raving about them and asking for more. The red ones were as good a Florida watermelon as one could hope for. After selling several tons per week, abruptly, there were none available. So what happened?

Toward the end of the Florida season and before the beginning of the Georgia harvest, we rejected many, many 750 pound bins that were delivered. We tasted watermelons each time. Some were over-ripe, or not ripe, or too pale, or fermented, or just "good enough". We decided that "good enough" was not good enough, and we couldn't be certain that the melon that you would have dragged home and then dragged to your picnic, would even be "good enough".

On Friday, 6/15, we received the first of the Georgia harvest, the sugar baby grown by Lady Moon Farm, which we assessed to be flavorful, pretty good, but very ripe. Five thousand pounds vanished by Sunday. We ordered more for 6/18, but rejected them, because they were now too ripe.

We tried a red seedless from California on 6/20 and rejected them because they were only a little sweet and refreshing, but not enough so. If you bought one, you would probably eat it, but you wouldn't be that happy about it.

On 6/21 we tried a different watermelon, this one from Calavo, the excellent avocado grower. They are sweet, refreshing, and juicy, with a good texture, but they are a trace short on flavor (only a trace), and they are very big. This watermelon is actually good enough for the Park Slope Food Coop. We do hope the quality of the Georgia crop improves, and look forward to the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania harvest in mid-July.

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