As sure as the weather is starting to heat up in earnest, it's time for melons at the farmers market. Wednesday in Santa Monica, the melon lovers were out in force, crowding three and even four deep around the workers cutting samples at the Weiser Family Farms stand. It's still early in the season, but already the Weisers are harvesting Sugar Queen, Cavaillon, Charentais, true cantaloupe, Ha-Ogen, Sugar Net and Galia. More varieties will be added every week. Melons have been in the markets since June, with some being harvested in the desert. The Weisers themselves have had them for three weeks now. But as one worker put it, "They were good before, but this week they are slammin' killer." The Weisers farm their melons in Tehachapi, just on the other side of the Grapevine. Over the next three or four weeks, we should be seeing more and more melons coming from farther up the Central Valley, including those from the famed town of Mendota, self-proclaimed "Cantaloupe Center of the World."
-- Russ Parsons
Photo by Russ Parsons