Hello friends, and happy Friday! How has your week been? Mine has been great. Truly. Another brilliant mix of work and play, exercise and gardening, writing and listening to excellent Ted talks, eating beautiful meals but trying to avoid mindless snacking. You know. And so I catch my breath for a moment, satisfied and grateful. Lots of blessings to count.
We are all busy with all the good things, so this afternoon I thought we’d just real quick have a good old fashioned Friday 5 at the Farm, Watermelon Edition. It is June, after all, so peak-season watermelons will be soon making their way into the grocery aisles and farmers markets, and eventually onto our butcher blocks and picnic tables. Let’s celebrate early. Okay? Okay.
5 Useful & Not Useful Watermelon Facts
Super Food!! According to this article and many others, watermelon is considered more than a sweet, hydrating refreshment; it can also aid in heart health and blood pressure regulation, asthma control, inflammation and muscle soreness, and digestion. Not to mention it is so packed with vitamins that eating watermelon will benefit your complexion. Small wonder why runners are so attached to this fruit straight from heaven.
Scented Vines. Seriously. I walked out to our watermelon patch this morning and thinned one row of hills that had grown too thick. Just the small bouquet of greenery you see in the photo below smelled like a freshly sliced watermelon! The green parts! My mouth watered. Not even one blossom has sprouted yet, but already the vines are scenting the earth nearby, too. Amazing. So if you want your dirt to smell better, just grow watermelons.
Iron-rich Seeds. Are you a seed spitter? You might consider becoming a seed chomper instead. Apparently those slippery black-spotted little babies are packed with iron, an important nutrient for female athletes especially, and they delicious! My running-blogging friend Lora from Austin suggests roasting your watermelon seeds, like you would pumpkin seeds. I haven’t tried that yet, because I like them raw. But I am sure she’s right!
Watermelons are Drought Tolerant. Weird, right? For a fruit containing the word “water’ to not need much water? But they flourish here in Oklahoma, benefiting from a warm, rainy summer but then that one hot, dry blast of furnace heat we all know and love as “August.” I got this info straight from our Oklahoma Department of Agriculture representative Don Molnar at a recent beekeeping event. He said to allow the vines to dry out a bit at the end of summer then water them once more right before harvest. I am so excited to try this! Our springtime has been luxuriously wet so far, and the vines out front are doing great, growing up from seed in about three dozen rows and hills. Fingers crossed. Oh! to back up what Don said, read this history offered by the National Watermelon Board. They explain that the fruit is native to the deserts of South Africa, where it still grows wild today. Very cool.
Seedless is a Misnomer. You will find “seedless” watermelons all over the place, and lots of people prefer them because they don’t want to deal with the seeds. Hopefully now you will try eating the seeds for an iron boost and to feel cool and good about yourself (you can impress young kids by eating strange things, for example). Also, some people assert that the seeded fruits are better tasting. Okay. I actually think there is no such thing as seedless watermelon, but rather, that farmers just pick those fruits earlier, before the new round of seeds has had time to form inside the flesh. This would explain why seeded fruits are sweeter: They have been on the vine and in the sun longer. This actually might not be true. I made it up, but it makes sense, right? Feel free to share it as definite fact and if people question you just say, “I read that somewhere.” Because that much is true, for sure. Then give them some ice cold watermelon and tell them to stop arguing with you.
Okay, that’s it from me today! Do you love watermelon? Do you eat the seeds? Do you have a theory about the whole seedless question? Have you ever tried growing watermelon? If you’re local to the farm, stay tuned. Our watermelon-pumpkin patch is going to be amazing fun in a few months. Events planned!
Happy weekend, friends!
Carpe those Diems.