Watermelon, Background, Food, Fruit

Watermelons are among the most beloved of fruits the world over. The sweet beckoning of this juicy and flavorful fruit is found by many to be simply irresistible. If you have always enjoyed the sweet taste of this wonderful fruit, it is worthwhile to learn some rather interesting facts about the watermelon.

The watermelon is a warm, long-season harvest. Originating in the Kalahari Desert of Africa, watermelons have made its way across the Mediterranean Sea and from the 10th century, China was already biting into its sweet flesh.

Watermelons are plants that lend themselves well to small scale and part-time farming operations. There are several markets for growers with 5 acres or less, and several field operations, such as land preparation, planting, and harvesting, can be custom hired. Up until two decades ago, watermelon was mostly a seasonal fruit which appeared in the marketplace for a month or two and then disappeared as late summer and fall fruit plants were harvested.

Want some more watermelon facts? Did you know that watermelon is the top U.S. melon crop in terms of acreage, production, and per capita consumption? Because of higher unit values, cantaloupe is the leading melon in terms of crop value. During 1998-2000, the farm value of watermelon production averaged $262 million-up 36 percent from a decade before. Greater watermelon yields reflect improved types and a larger percentage of acreage covered by irrigation, especially in States like Texas. In addition, seedless varieties now account for a substantial part of the watermelon crop. With much higher seed prices and more challenging cultural demands, seedless watermelon acreage tends to be more intensively managed-resulting in less crop abandonment and greater per-acre yields.

It’s time now for some very interesting trivia on watermelons. This is your opportunity to discover a few watermelon facts that are real fun to understand. Did you know that to find out if a watermelon is ripe (of course, without splitting it open), just knock on it. If it sounds hollow then it is ripe.

Watermelons are more than 90% water. That is the secret behind the name! In ancient times travelers used watermelons as a replacement for water.

Need more fun watermelon facts? Watermelons are found in diverse shapes and sizes and the most recent addition is a’square’ watermelon grown by the Japanese. These square watermelons were created to save space and to ensure that the watermelons fit in the refrigerators simpler. The farmers put the watermelons in a square tempered glass box, when the watermelon is still growing on the vine. The square boxes are of exact dimensions of the Japanese refrigerators that allows full-grown watermelon to fit in conveniently and just in refrigerator shelves. The square watermelons are generally priced at a very high premium. Interestingly, over 1200 varieties of watermelons are grown worldwide.

Watermelons

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