LAGRANGE – Sweet, refreshing Georgia watermelons are coming to a store near you in early June. The 2020 watermelon crop is expected to have the crisp, sweet flavor and high quality unique to Georgia watermelon.
While Georgia has had a relatively cool spring, consumers should still start seeing Georgia Grown watermelons in stores the first week of June. The Georgia season typically peaks around June 20.
“We expect excellent quality and even more, we are eager to have a successful growing season,” Rob Greene, Georgia Watermelon Association president and owner of Lime Creek Farms in Arabi, said in a news release.
Planting for Georgia’s watermelon crop begins in March. From planting to harvest, watermelons typically need 90 days to grow, ripen and be ready for harvest. With more than 18,000 acres of watermelon harvested on average each year, the state of Georgia ranks in the Top 4 in the Unites States for production after Texas, Florida and California.
Georgia watermelons are expected to hit stores by Wednesday. Consumers can pick up watermelon in local stores and markets throughout the Southeast. The 2020 GWA Queen Ambassador, Lindsey Westberry, would normally be in stores this summer, but due to COVID-19 restrictions she is helping consumers through serving in other ways in her local community.
Just before Memorial Day, Westberry joined in with members of the National Guard at Second Harvest of South Georgia to pack food boxes for the local community in Valdosta. SHSG provides more than 3 million meals annually to those with food insecurity.
“Having the opportunity to give back to my community alongside many of our service men and women was truly a blessing,” she said. “I believe in living a life of use to others, and I look forward to continuing to bring smiles to people’s faces through watermelon.”
On social media, Westberry will put together many recipes, safety and how-to tutorials so consumers can enjoy their local watermelon.
“It’s more important now than ever to support your local economy – and we do that from purchasing in season produce like watermelon when it comes in stores,” Samantha Kilgore, the GWA executive director, said. “Let watermelon help cool you off this summer, and rest assured that your local growers do everything they can to provide a safe, sweet, and satisfying product.”
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.