This gorgeous fruit wears an extremely thin skin that will zip right off so it can be effortlessly enjoyed. Demand for the tasty and nutritious fruit that is synonymous with summer continues to increase, especially with highly desirable seedless varieties. It can be effective in reducing body temperature and blood pressure. The fruit gets its name from its high water content. Top the watermelon salad with the honey vinaigrette and gently toss to combine. Don enjoys his work at AgAmerica, as he has never met a stranger. Watermelon was the sixth most valuable crop in Florida’s “Vegetables, Melons and Berries” sector, and increased in value 10 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to FDACS. The Sunshine State has been home to watermelon production since the 16th century. Seedless watermelon varieties do not germinate in temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Hale Groves? Email: [email protected]. Orlando tangelos make the perfect juicy snack for every occasion. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, olive oil and pinch of salt and set aside. BIO: Donald Harden, a Relationship Manager for AgAmerica Lending, grew up in the cattle and citrus business, managing a family ranch of several thousand cattle and horses. Watermelon is an iconic summer treat. Depending on your place in the state and the year's growing conditions, growing seasons and crop availability will vary. Big Parade at 10:00 A.M. from Old High School through downtown. Watermelon grows best in winter and spring here when the weather is a bit less intense. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Florida produced 18 percent of the country’s watermelons, with a value of $88.2 million, in 2015. He has served as a director and on the board of the Cattlemen’s Association, as the manufacturer’s representative for ag equipment companies, and as a beef cattle specialist for a national feed company. The Sunshine State has been home to watermelon production since the 16th century. This column is sponsored by AgAmerica Lending. And in Florida, the measures taken to slow its deadly spread ended Tampa Bay’s peak season before it could peak. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Barbara Barker has been writing about gardening since 1999. Don has traveled across the U.S. as a sales rep, conducting seminars and fostering long-lasting business relationships. 1 5 lb Florida watermelon, peeled, cut into cubes Farms in Florida provide the perfect climate to grow watermelons. Grown all over Florida, it is grown as far north as Jackson County and as far south as Collier County. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, Integrated Pest Management Centers: Crop Profile for Watermelons, Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Watermelons. It enjoys heat but not too much heat. Watermelon is packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and lycopene. 15 fresh basil leaves, torn Enjoy this recipe for a fresh summer salad from In a large bowl or serving platter with sides, combine the watermelon, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. Watermelon planting dates range from December 15 to April 15, depending on the variety planted and the growing region. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2017, Florida produced more than 20,000 acres of watermelon. See Florida’s numbers for watermelon production below. Chipley, FL. 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or to taste. How to Transition Your Farm to the Next Generation, Check the Rootstock Trial Website for the Latest on Trial Results, Lawn care makes its way to the top of the outdoor to-do list, Supporting the Farm to School Program, Part II, Irrigation Update: Growers Opting for Dual Systems. © 2020 Copyright Central Florida Media Group. Watermelons need warm weather. Top with the feta cheese and serve. Known as the ideal ?peel-and-eat fruit,? For people living in northern climates, watermelon season is in the summer.This fruit is … Watermelons have crisp, juicy flesh that's perfect for summer eating.