Each year, as spring pushes winter aside and the air warms, there are certain thoughts, certain cravings that return after months of absence. For many, one of those cravings is for watermelon.
Watermelons are grown in 44 of the continental United States. If you purchase watermelons in a western state, chances are they were grown in California or Arizona. If you purchase them in a mid-western or eastern state, they are more likely to have been grown in Florida, Georgia, or Texas. If you really crave watermelon for New Year's Day, you can probably get one, since they are imported from Mexico. Domestic melons, however, come into season in May and are around until the end of October. The season's peak is from May through August.
While watermelons are abundant, it isn't so easy to find certified organic seedless watermelon.
If you research carefully, you will learn that, technically, there cannot be such a thing as a certified organic seedless watermelon. Why? A certified organic seedless watermelon is a genetically altered watermelon. The genetic alteration is done chemically.
To create a seedless watermelon, seed producers treat natural watermelon seed with Colchicines, a chromosome-altering chemical. Colchicines changes the chromosome number in the seeds from 2 to 4. Once this is done, the seeds are pollinated with the natural 2 chromosome watermelon. The result is an un-natural, genetically modified watermelon with 3 chromosomes.
Continue your research and you will learn, as I did, that plants must have an even number of chromosomes to reproduce. Since the un-natural, genetically modified watermelon now has 3 chromosomes, it cannot form seeds. You get a seedless melon.
A watermelon that is touted as certified organic seedless watermelon may be grown organically, but chemicals were used in the production of the seeds. You will have to decide your own definition of “organic" to decide whether or not you want the melon.
If you still want to find certified organic seedless watermelon, you have options.
The Internet, which seems to have about anything you could want, includes stores that will ship certified organic seedless watermelon to your door. Of course, it has to be in season.
1. Cherry Moon Farms offers organic fruit delivery, and guarantees that the fruit will arrive fresh or your money back.
2. Diamond Organics offers “next-day" delivery of organic fruits, vegetables, and a host of other things. They guarantee that everything will be as you want it. If it isn't, they will replace the item on your next order, or issue a refund.
If there is a farmer's market in your area, you may be able to buy certified organic seedless watermelon there. If you know someone at your farmer's market who grows organic produce, you could call them early in the spring and request that they plant certified organic seedless watermelon.
Check your local grocery stores for certified organic seedless watermelon. More and more are establishing an organic subdivision in the produce section. Some grocery stores try to honor customer requests, too, and may order in certified organic seedless watermelon if you ask for it.
Plant Your Own
You may want to plant your own certified organic seedless watermelon. Names of choices to ask for include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Everglade Hybrid Watermelon
2. Lemon Ice Hybrid Watermelon
3. Orange Sunshine Hybrid Watermelon
4. Big Tasty Seedless Hybrid Watermelon
Watermelons With Seeds
If you decide that certified organic seedless watermelon is not organic enough for your tastes, you might want to grow a container or row of your own organic watermelon. An easy, delicious melon to grow on your patio is sugar baby – and yes, organic seed companies such as Main Street Seed and Supply have certified organic seeds for this watermelon. It produces round watermelons, about 7" to 8.5" and weighing 8 to 12 pounds. The name tells you what to expect. It's probably worth the seeds!
©2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart invites you to read more of her articles about organic gardening at http://www.organicspringtime.com/ . Anna is posting new articles every week on that site, each one dealing with some facet of organic gardening. If you want information for yourself or someone else on how to grow an organic vegetable garden, including watermelon, you will want to read Anna’s article on the subject.