Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, August 15, 1998, Image 93

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Fay Strickler
Penn State Extension Home
Economist For Berks Co.
August is a peak period for
harvesting watermelons and
cantaloupes. Many people are
apprehensive about selecting
melons while others rely on
techniques that are incorrect or
may even damage the fruit.
Two techniques that damage
melons are pressing on the end
of a cantaloupe to see if it is soft,
wrongly assuming it is ripe, and
shaking under the assumption
that if the seeds rattle, the
melon must be ripe.
Likewise, very few people can
slap or thump a watermelon and
rightly tell if it is ripe. Let your
eyes be be the guide for you.
First, look at the scar on the
stem end where the melon was
attached to the vine. The scar'
should be calloused and slightly
sunken. Avoid those with the
stem still attached or the stem
scar not fully depressed. The
scar should be dry, not wet or
weeping. A fully mature melon
p Great Plains
• Utilizes proven coulter/opener no’-till system.
• Compact, well-balanced design transports easily.
• Heavy-duty coulters cut through tough ground
and heavy residue.
• Dry fertilizer, small seeds, and and fluffy seed box
• Lock-out hubs disengage drives for transport.
See The Dependable Great Plains
Dealers Listed Below:
C.B. Hoober & Sons, Inc.
Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534
Hines Equipment
Rt. 28 West, Cresson, PA 16630
and Rt. 220, Belwood, PA
814-742-8171 *
will easily detach from the
vine—a “full slip.” When a piece
of the stem remains attached to
the melon, it’s called a “half
The essential factors of
watermelon quality are maturi
ty and size. The larger melons
have more edible flesh, propor
tionately, than the smaller ones.
Color is the best key to
ripeness in watermelons. A yel
lowish underside, regardless of
tho rich green color of the rest of
the melon, is a good sign of
ripeness. A watermelon is some r
what like a book, in that you
can’t always tell its contents by
its cover. When you go to buy a
whole melon, look for one that is
symmetrically shaped and has a
velvety bloom—a dull, rather
than shiny surface. The under
side should be turning from
white or pale green to a light
yellowish color.
Avoid “white heart” in water-
10 ft. & 12 ft.
melons—a hard, white streak
running lengthwise through the
melon. Seeds, too, give a clue to
ripeness. If the melon is fully
matured, the seeds are usually
dark brown to black. (Only one
variety, the Improved Garrisonian,
has white seeds.)
Most retailers charge slightly
more for cut watermelons. It is
well worth it! In this way, you
can see the maturity of the
melon—the only sure way of
selecting a good watermelon.
The watermelon’s chief con
tribution is one of enjoyment- 11
not a heavy quota of nutrients;
however, watermelons do con
tribute a useful amount of
Vitamin A and small amounts of
other nutrients.
A good cantaloupe will have a
well-defined netting, the raised
corky lines covering the melon.
If the netting covers the can
taloupe thickly and stands out
like whipcord, the melon is gen
erally good. The color should be
creamy white to yellow. Too deep
a yellow, however may indicate
over-ripeness and such melons
should be avoided.
Fully ripe cantaloupe also
have a delicate aroma, although
too often the aroma is hard to
detect because the melons have
been kept under refrigeration,
or should have been.
■ There are no such things as a
“vine ripe” melon unless they
are locally grown. Cantaloupes
are picked at a mature stage and
kept under refrigeration to slow
down ripening. So don’t be in a
D & E Equipment
307 Edgar Avenue, Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Carlisle Farm Service
260 York Road, Carlisle, PA 17013
Lone Maple Sales & Service
RD #2, New Alexandria, PA
hurry to serve cantaloupe even
though it is well matured.
Cantaloupes do not increase
their sugar content after picking
but they do become softer, more
FFA Member Wins State
Agricultural Mechanical
Technical Systems -
Placement Award
Keith Sauder of East Earl
and a member of the Grassland
FEA Chapter was named the
State FFA Agricultural Mechanical
Technical Systems - Entrepreneur
ship winner and received a $lOO
check at the state FFA conven-
The Most Comprehensive Set of
Time-Proven No-Till Drill Features
In The Business
* *********
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, August 15, 1998-B5
Chambersburg Farm Service
975 South Main Street, Chambersburg, PA
C. B. Hoober & Sons, Inc.
McAlisterville, PA 17049
Lehigh Ag Equipment, Inc.
6670 Ruppsville Road, Allentown, PA 18106
mellow and more satisfactory to
eat if held at room temperature
for a day or two after you buy
tion. State winners will advance
to competition for national final
National finalists will each
receive a plaque and a $250
check and are eligible to partici
pate in an educational interna
tional travel seminar in June of
1999. The national winner will
be selected from this group and
will receive an additional plaque
and a $250 check
The Agricultural Mechanical
Technical Systems Placement
Proficiency award program rec
ognizes outstanding FFA mem
bers for developing mechanical
knowledge and skills used in the
design, construction, repair, and
maintenance of electrical
motors, agricultural equipment
and structures. It is one of 42
national award areas that recog
nizes FFA members for achieve
ment in activities leading to
careers in agriculture.
The Agricultural Mechanical
Technical Systems - Placement
award is sponsored by Case
Corporation as a special award
of the National FFA Foundation,