Local watermelons are beginning to appear on the local market now. And what a treat they are. There's something about local homegrown produce that is so much better than store-bought vegetables and fruits. Watermelons have been a part of Itawamba County's agricultural past for generations. Most every farm always included a watermelon patch. During the olden days farmers would plant some watermelons in among the cotton plants in the fields and during the late summer hot days when chopping cotton, the working family members would come upon a big nice watermelon hiding among the cotton. This was surely a treat in the days before air conditioning and refridgeration.
When I was a kid my elderly aunt and uncle always had a nice watermelon crop on their New Chapel farm and it was always a treat to visit them during the late summer as I knew they would always have an ample supply of watermelons. The picked melons would be stored in the shade of a large water oak tree in their side yard. In the afternoon we would always have a watermelon cutting and before leaving for home, I would always get to choose a melon to take home.
Pictured above is a locally grown ice-cold Orange Glow watermelon I enjoyed on my patio. The yellow and orange fleshed melons seem to be much sweeter and more fruity than the red varieties.