Smith County Watermelons: Smaller, but just as good
This is the peak of the watermelon season in Mississippi and some of the best around are grown in Smith and Simpson counties. The weather this year has really cut the yield of watermelon farmers.
The lack of rain combined with the heat, at the peak of growing season in early June, has cut yields in some fields by more than half, but there are still lots of top quality melons, thanks to irrigation.
Fifth-two year old Steve Maddox and his brother Sam are sixth generation watermelon farmers in Simpson County, near the Smith County line.
"The weather has been kind of tough on the melons" said Maddox. "We normally harvest five or six wagons a day, and we are getting two to three, kinda cuttin the harvest."
Just down the road in Smith County, 86-year-old Herman Cockrell still raises watermelons, which are sold at his daughter's stand at the old farmer's market in Jackson.
"We went so long without any rain, it just didn't work out" said Cochrell.
Brenda Langham at Brenda's Produce Stand, says the melons are smaller this year, but just as good.
"We are delighted to be able to grow them and sell them, but the dry weather has hurt" said Langham.
You haven't lived until you have had a fresh cut Smith County watermelon and eaten the heart out of it right there in the field. Delicious, sweet, red and juicy; you just can't beat it.
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