August can be a hot and brutal month in our region, but fortunately, it is also a great time for watermelon! Watermelon is an excellent and sweet way to stay hydrated during hot summer days.

At Orr’s Farm Market, we get a lot of questions about how to choose the juiciest, sweetest watermelon for your family and friends. As experienced watermelon growers (and watermelon lovers), we have a few tips that can help you choose your watermelon like a pro!

Have you ever heard of the “field spot?” This refers to the yellowish spot of the melon that rested on the ground during its growing months. The ripest watermelons will have a creamy yellow or orange spot – not white. Selecting a watermelon with a field spot that is closer to yellow than white will ensure you have a ripe melon.

The next feature we look for is webbing. Some melons will have brown, rough-to-the-touch web-like markings that may at first seem off-putting. These markings a

re indications that bees have pollinated the fruit. More webbing means more pollination which will yield you a sweeter tasting melon.

Did you know that farmers differentiate watermelons based on gender? Boy watermelons are bigger, a bit more elongated and have a waterier taste. Girl watermelons are smaller, more rounded and are usually sweeter.

The size of your watermelon can also provide a clue about its flavor. You want your melon to feel heavy for its size. We recommend the Goldilocks approach to size selection – don’t choose the largest watermelon of the bunch, but don’t choose the smallest either. Something in the middle is usually just right.

The last feature we inspect is the watermelon’s “tail” or stem. A dried tail indicates that the melon is ripe. If the tail is still green, it likely means that the melon was picked too soon and will not be ripe.

So the next time you find

yourself overwhelmed at the watermelon bin, just remember:

  • Check for a yellowish field spot (not white)
  • Say yes to brown webbing
  • Boy melons will be bigger and waterier, girls are smaller and sweeter
  • Choose a size that falls in the middle
  • Pick a melon with a dry tail

We hope these tips will help you find the perfect melon for you, but don’t hesitate to ask us for assistance the next time you visit us here at Orr’s Farm Market. We are open Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm and on Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. We look forward to seeing you!

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