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Peak season for Watermelon

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

July 3, 2008

CRISP COUNTY, GA (WALB) - July 4th is the peak of watermelon season. Nowhere is more evident than in Cordele, and by all accounts, this year's harvest was a good one.

It's a field of green but if you look closer you'll discover Cordele's claim to fame, the watermelon.

"If you come through Cordele at any time of day you're more than likely to get behind a truckload of watermelons," said Tucker Prince, Crisp Co. Extension Agriculture Agent.

And in Cordele most of those melons are probably headed to the market.

"We've had a good crop made, but we've had a hard time marketing it. We need more money for our melons but overall it's been a good farming season," said Tim Walker, farmer.

Because of higher fertilizer and fuel prices, many growers at the state farmers market are grateful just to break even.

"It's been a fair season but the prices of fertilizer and diesel and selling melons have been tough we're getting a fair price but we need a little more," said Walker.

With Georgia in a dry spell many are thankful for how good the season has turned out.

"We've had some rains earlier this year then we go into a dry period which watermelons cannot tolerate too much heat without any water at one time, which caused some of the vines to decline a little but overall it looks very good," said Prince.

"I just sampled one and it's is right there with the rest of them that I've had that are from Cordele. You have to have a Crisp County Melon because ours are juiciest, crispest and sweetest," said Monica Simmons, Cordele-Crisp Chamber President.

And these sweet Georgia grown watermelons are being sold by the thousands at the Cordele farmers market, and it's all fresh.

"This is the peek, we're in the peek of the season for the next 10 days," said Walker.

South Georgia growers will continue to harvest the melons into late July or early August.

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