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Setting up a Watermelon Garden

FUN FACTS!

Fun with Watermelons!

Watermelons have a permanent place in our national heritage. Visit any country fair to join in the watermelon eating contest – only to be followed by the watermelon seed spitting contest – to see their popularity. Watermelons are just as American as Mom, baseball and apple pie.... Read More!

Watermelon Festivals

From the Watermelon Jubilee in Texas to the Watermelon Carnival in Mississippi, there are watermelon festivals all over the country. And we want to hear about your favorites! Just email your festival, the dates and a short description of why you love it. We’ll list them on the site along with a link to the festival homepage.

The History of Watermelon

Although most people consider watermelon an all-American fruit, it may surprise you to know that the watermelon actually comes from Africa. Prized as a portable source of water, watermelon is thought to originate in the Kalahari Desert.

Fun Watermelon Facts: 

  • Watermelon was first harvested in Egypt 5,000 years ago.
  • There are 1,200 varieties of watermelon grown in 96 countries.
  • By weight, watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States.
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
  • In 1796, the first cookbook was published in the United States. It included a recipe for Watermelon Rind Pickles.
  • The world record for the largest watermelon was 268.8 pounds awarded to Lloyd Bright of Hope, Arkansas.
  • Watermelon was named the Official State Vegetable of Oklahoma in 2007, causing some controversy because it’s really a fruit.
  • The record for watermelon seed spitting is 66 feet, 11 inches. (set by Jack Dietz, Chicago 1989)
  • A Densuke watermelon from Japan once sold for $6,000.
  • Mark Twain claimed that watermelon must be the food of the angels.
  • Watermelon is used as part of the Vietnamese New Year’s holiday. It’s considered lucky and the seeds are eaten as a holiday snack.