Watermelons have their Day

Youngsters compete to see who can eat the fastest.

Ripe, red and juicy watermelons attracted more than the usual attention on Watermelon Day at the Wednesday Farmers Market, June 12. A team effort by University of Florida/Volusia County Extension Service and Volusia County Farm Bureau, people flocked to the market’s center court to enjoy the summertime treat.

At Watermelon Day, Greg Monroe, owner of Budget Basic Produce in DeLand, emceed. National Watermelon Queen Amber Nolin and Florida Watermelon Queen Brandi Harrison handed out balloons and posed for photos. Children got in line for watermelon eating and seed spitting contests.

“(Watermelon Day) celebrates watermelons in Florida. It supports our farmers and our local crops. It is a healthy, fresh fruit and it is fun to eat,” said Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent Karen Stauderman, event organizer.


Watermelon Facts

Watermelons are complete edible, even the rinds.

Besides red, watermelons come in yellow and orange.

Americans consumer more watermelons than any other melon.

Watermelons originated in Africa.

Watermelons are technically both a fruit and a vegetable.

There is only 46 calories in a cup of watermelon.

Watermelon contains more lycopene than tomatoes.

Watermelon seeds are high in zinc.


How to tell if a watermelon is ripe

Look for a yellow underbelly where it ripened on the ground. There should be no blemishes or cracks. It should be firm and symmetrical.