Botanically watermelon is a warm-season fruit, though as a member of the cucurbit family of gourds, it is grown and harvested as a vegetable.  Most believe watermelon originated in the deserts and semitropical regions of southern Africa.  Hieroglyphics found on the walls of ancient Egyptian buildings depict the first watermelon harvest occurring nearly 5,000 years ago.  Today, watermelon is grown around the world.  Although rinds look hardy, they are actually quite fragile and require hand-picking. watermelon is completely edible:  the flesh is delicious, the seeds can be roasted, and the rind can be used for making preserves, pickles , and relish.

Season Availability: April – October!

References: National Watermelon Promotion Board, North Carolina State University, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, USDA.