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National Watermelon Day…Celebrate!

Childhood memories include the summer days of swimming in our backyard pool.  Then mom and dad would steam up some Blue Crabs from the Chesapeake Bay in a big pot in the back yard.  Of course, there was plenty of Old Bay seasoning involved.  We’d eat them on the picnic table with our grandparents and neighbors along with corn on the cob and finish it off with watermelon.

I remember the watermelon was so juicy we all had to stand on the grass to eat with red juice running down to our elbows. There were so many seeds we’d have fun spitting them at each other until it got gross and someone complained. But we had a good time!

Over the years watermelon has become tasteless and not so red and juicy. I guess so many people always complained about it that some botanist decided to make seedless varieties. How do you do that? Well, read this article after finishing my blog to find out.

Recently,  I went to a local farm market because I just craved a watermelon.  I was also in a canning mood and knowing that my husband likes pickled watermelon rind I was thinking I could try to make some.  Anyway, there were some under the roof on a tray. The kid working there told me they were from FL and cost $5 each. I saw a pile in the truck he was sitting next to and asked about them. He said they were $5 also but they were just picked this morning from his grand-daddy’s yard. I bought one from the truck.

This was the juiciest, most seed-filled watermelon I’ve seen in my adult life. Seriously. And sweet beyond words. 

Yum!

Meanwhile, I had to think about genetically modified foods, which I usually do but never watermelons.  Are all of those other weak tasting watermelons I’ve eaten over the year genetically modified?  Are they harmful to me?  This has to be a non-genetically modified watermelon.  But could it be organic or just heirloom?  Will these seeds grow next year?  Are all of those other watermelons genetically modified to have less seeds or no seeds at all?  Then I thought, oh my gosh…if a genetically modified watermelon has no seeds, is it no longer a fruit?

Doing some internet research I found that, yes, all seedless watermelon are genetically modified. There is no such thing as a true organic seedless watermelon because the genetic modification is done with chemicals so even if a seedless watermelon is grown using organic protocol, it is not truly organic.

We all know that fruits have seeds and vegetables don’t (or at least we don’t eat them if they do seed).  Botanically speaking, ” a fruit is defined as the ripened ovary of a flowering plant and contains seeds.”  A vegetable is defined as “the edible part of a plant. If a plant, which produces fruits, is also used as a vegetable, then the plant can be taken as a vegetable and the fruit produced by it, as a fruit.” Ok, so these definitions only foster more controversy so we’ll never really know the answer to the question about a watermelon becoming a vegetable. 

And lastly, I’ll have to plant the seeds to see if they germinate.   I have a list of people from 2 states already that want these seeds.

I’m glad that I found great tasting watermelon.  I won’t ever buy it in the grocery store again if I can help it.  I’ll be heading back to the farm market soon for another $5 watermelon from “grand-daddy’s yard.”

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One thought on “National Watermelon Day…Celebrate!

  1. I never had any idea about the seedless watermelon. Many of them did seem to lack flavor though. It seemed the only tasty part was right in the center, if at all. I hope the seeds germinate.

    I was thinking maybe we could plant watermelon next year, but it seems all the bugs we have would be an issue. My son’s poor pumpkin patch is suffering in spite of our best efforts.

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