Thursday, September 16, 2021

Picking the Perfect Market Melon

It’s that time of the year when so much is in season in the Adirondack region- including melons like honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.

In the Adirondacks, locally grown melons only start to appear with sweet corn and winter squash, right around when kids start heading back to school. Once the frost comes, they are done.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of cutting into a perfectly ripe locally grown melon, this is your year! The weather conditions have made melons especially prolific for many fruit and veggie farmers in the area.

Before the short but sweet season passes, head to your local farmstand, farmers’ market, or local food retail location to get your hands on the sweetest summer offerings.

How to Know When a Melon is Ripe
Ask your farmer! If you’re at a market or retail location, don’t hesitate to ask the staff person if you should eat it right away, or wait a few days
Smell it, does it smell like sweet melon? Then it is ready to eat. If not, give it a few days on your kitchen counter
Color can be deceiving, not all watermelons are striped, not all honeydews are green, and not all cantaloupes are peach-colored
Bigger is not always better, some melons are bred to be smaller, especially varieties that do best in cold climates like in the Adirondacks


There’s a lot of mystery around picking melons, sometimes it can feel like a gamble picking them out at the store – especially if you aren’t sure what to look for.

Read More in this Helpful Melon Guide


Wikimedia commons photo by © Raimond Spekking


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Mary Godnick is the Digital Editor for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County. She lives in the Champlain Valley where she grows vegetables on a cooperative farm plot with her partner and two rescue dogs. You can read more of her work on and follow her on Twitter at @MaryGodnick.

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