Farm Facts: Melons
Juicy, ripe melons are a staple of summer. Whether you’re craving a pretty pink watermelon or refreshing cantaloupe, Illinois produces both types. Check out fun and interesting facts on melons below:
- Melons grow well in the sandy soil of the Illinois River Valley.
- Illinois River Valley melons begin to ripen in late June or early July, but peak season is mid-August through September.
- U.S. fresh market watermelon production totaled $520 million in 2012, followed by $325 million in cantaloupe production and almost $70 million for honeydew melons.
- Cantaloupe or muskmelon? People use these terms interchangeably, but technically muskmelons encompass more than just the cantaloupe variety of melons. In other words, all cantaloupes are muskmelons, but not all muskmelons are cantaloupes.
- Farmers in Illinois and Indiana combined grow more than 7,500 acres of watermelons.
- Americans eat more watermelon than any other melon variety.
- In 2009, Congress declared July National Watermelon Month.
- All melons contain high amounts of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps boost your immune system.
Do all these melon facts make you crave this juicy summer fruit? Here are a few of our favorite melon recipes for honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe.
- Watermelon and Raspberry Sorbet
- Three-Melon Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime-Mint Dressing
- Watermelon Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese
- Chilled Melon Soup
- Watermelon Agua Fresca