Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Grown Melons

Melons... a great summer tradition!  What would picnics, cook-outs, pool parties and all the other events of summer be without the cool, sweet, juicy taste of fresh melons?

In fact, whether eaten right off the rind or mixed with other fruit, melons make a delicious dessert or snack anytime.  Melons are low in calories, fat-free, and a good source of Vitamins A and C.

Watermelons are Georgia´s number one produce crop with over 40,000 acres in production. Georgia has the perfect climate to produce a consistent crop with good yields and sweet melons. Most watermelons are grown primarily in and around Crisp county near the city of Cordele.
Georgia cantaloupe is available from May through October. Cantaloupe is grown primarily in the Southern and South-central parts of the state.

Buyers Guide to Melons

  • When buying whole watermelons, look for a firm, slightly dull rind, that is fully round.
  • When buying cantaloupes choose medium sized melons with thick, above surface netting.

Best Ways to Enjoy Melons

  • Chilled and eaten right off the rind.
  • Turn watermelon rind into pickles, muffins or sherbet.
  • Create an attractive party dish by using the watermelon rind as a fruit bowl filled with watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew balls.
  • Juice the watermelon and use the rind as a base for an icy cold fruit punch.
  • Freeze watermelon into cubes or pops for kids of all ages.
  • Quarter cantaloupe and serve just as it is.
  • Chop cantaloupe and include in tossed  salads for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Create a mixed fruit salad with strawberries, blueberries, honeydew, grapes and  cantaloupe.
  • Top cantaloupe slices with a variety of berries, plain yogurt or whipped cream for a special brunch or dessert.
  • For an after dinner treat, top cantaloupe with ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • Puree cantaloupe and use as dessert toppingor as a cold soup.
  • Slice cantaloupe and serve with cottage cheese or plain yogurt for nutritious lunch.

Fun Facts about Melons

  • Watermelons originated in Africa.  Famed missionary explorer Dr. David Livingstone found watermelons growing wild in central Africa in the 1850´s.
  • Cantaloupes are a member of the cucurbit family which also includes squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, muskmelons and gourds.
  • Watermelons are eaten differently across the world. In Russia, a beer is made from watermelon juice.   In Iraq, the flesh of the melon is used as animal feed and a source of water.
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