Today, August 3, 2022 is watermelon day. For my family watermelon is a summertime stable. Everyone in my family enjoys a juicy sweet watermelon in the summer.
The area I live in grew watermelon as a major cash crop until the late 1980’s. Thousand of acres were used to raised watermelons. The sand loam soil was perfect to grow large and sweet melons. The town I live in had the train depot just for loading the ripe watermelon and shipping it into the cities. After the watermelons were harvested, loaded on the train cars and sent down the tracks, people would celebrate with a festival. Today, the communities that grew watermelon still have their Watermelon Festivals.
The Watermelon Festival in our small town has various activities including softball games, eating contests, cooking contests and local vendors selling fruits, vegetables and craft items. There are other games and activities for the children including a bounce house. One community has a rodeo and wine tasting event during their festival. People come from the city to participate in our festival, although you have to live in the community in order to have a vendors table.
There are many ways to enjoy the watermelon. Simply as a fruit is most common, cut into bite size pieces or shapes or quartered to give the recipient the joys of the sweet juicy fruit. Watermelon rind is used in soups, pickles, relished and even wine.
The Watermelon Festival was a celebration after the harvest, an agricultural event. Today, most people go to enjoy the activities and have fun as well as eat watermelon. A reminder of the past and where food really comes from.
I can imagine how this welcomed in the heat!
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