Jun 22, 2020Georgia watermelon season peaks this week
Now just a few short weeks away from July 4, the Georgia watermelon harvest season is nearing its peak production time.
“Now is the time to go visit your grocery store or local farmers market and purchase a fresh Georgia watermelon,” Georgia Watermelon Association (GWA) president Rob Greene said in a news release. A watermelon grower in Arabi, Georgia, Greene says this production season has produced a historically sweet, crisp and delicious product.
Growers in Georgia have been cultivating their watermelon vines sinceMarch. From planting to harvest, watermelons typically need 90 days to grow and ripen. With more than 18,000 acres of watermelon harvested on average each year, the state of Georgia ranks in the top four in the United States for production among Texas, Florida, and California.
While this harvest season falls amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, growers and shippers are taking special care to make sure watermelons are safe. Executive Director of the GWA, Samantha Kilgore, stated that “Our growers closely follow regulations and guidelines – including COVID-specific protocols – to ensure our workers are protected and able to deliver nutritious and safe produce to families throughout the country.”
The 2020 Georgia Watermelon Ambassador Lindsey Westberry has not been able to visit many stores during this season, but has found other ways to promote delicious, sweet watermelon as an essential staple this summer.
Recently, she partnered with Morgan County 4-H Program to advertise a watermelon decorating contest and raise financial support for the local youth organization. “My year as GWA Ambassador has encouraged me to really think outside the box on the best way to promote watermelon’s value and versatility,” she said. Westberry has also hosted weekly Facebook live events for GWA’s 2700 online followers.
The GWA reminds everyone to pick up a watermelon at their local grocer. “This is Georgia’s peak season, so when you check the label on your watermelon you should see grown in Georgia,” said Kilgore. “This is the time to support your local economy and those farmers out there who are working hard to provide us with American grown fresh fruits and vegetables.”
The Georgia Watermelon Association is the trade organization for members of the Georgia watermelon industry. The GWA mission is to promote the industry from production to consumption. For more information, visit www.georgiawatermelonassociation.org