Melons

Find local melons with the Minnesota Grown Directory published by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Our online Directory provides quick access to farm details, links to their website and access to Google Maps driving directions.

melonsThese heat-loving fruits are synonymous with a true Minnesotan summer and are perfect for picnics and days at the lake.  Watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe are the three most common types of melons grown in Minnesota, but the list goes on! Many farmers choose to grow specialty melons or variations on these three to suit their soil and climate types. Below you will find melon fun facts, purchasing how-to, and more! By choosing local melons, you are guaranteeing the best flavor. Farmers serving local customers can wait to harvest melons when they are at their peak sugar content, ensuring tasty sweetness for consumers!

Click here to find a local grower selling melons!

Watermelons:

This summery treat is not only refreshing and hydrating but healthy too! This sweet melon contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and potassium!  An immature watermelon can be stored on your counter for a few days until it ripens. An uncut watermelon can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, but after you cut the melon, it can only stay for several days. The following information is from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

How a Watermelon is Grown:

You need three things to grow watermelon: sun, bees and water. Farmers generally grow watermelon in rows, 8-12 feet apart, in raised beds 4-12 inches high composed of fertilized sand or sandy loam. Tiny watermelon plants from a transplant nursery can be implanted in the beds. Honeybees must pollinate the yellow watermelon blossom. Even the sterile, seedless watermelon requires pollination in order to fruit. In a month, a vine may spread to as much as 6-8 feet. Within 60 days, the vine produces its first watermelons. The crop is ready to harvest within 3 months.

The rind of a watermelon is not as tough as it looks, so it is still handpicked. Watermelon pickers look for a pale or buttery yellow spot on the bottom, indicating ripeness. Many watermelon pickers have their own tricks or hand-me-down methods; however, we look for the yellow belly ground spot just like the pickers do.

For more information on growing your own water melons, visit this link for the University of Minnesota’s Tips for Growing Melons in Minnesota Home Gardens.

Pick a Good Watermelon

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.1. Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.2. Lift it up.
The watermelon should be heavy for it’s size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.3. Turn it over.
The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.Many people also thump the watermelon looking for a dull, hollow sound.

Cantaloupe:festivalfoods2

When choosing your cantaloupe, look for a melon with a prominent, evenly distributed “netting.” The stem end will be smooth and responsive to pressure. The best way to tell a ripe cantaloupe is by smell! The fruit should smell sweet and musky. You can store your cantaloupe a day or two at room temperature to further ripen the fruit. After cutting and when the fruit is fully ripe, store it in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Honeydew Melon:

Look for honeydew melons with a creamy white or pale cream rind. Like cantaloupe, this fruit will tell you its ready to eat by its honeydew aroma! If your honeydew is not ripe, you can store it on your counter for a few days. After cutting, honeydew will last in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

Find a local seller of melons near you!