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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Lack Of Flooding After Forecast Indicates Trouble

By Steve Cummings

Hopefully everyone in the county received rain.  It rained at my house over the weekend.  This was the first measurable rainfall since June 4.  You know you are in trouble when the local TV channels put Yalobusha County under a flash flood warning and you do not get any rain at your house.  That was my case until this past weekend.

Five of Yalobusha County’s 4-Hers are currently competing at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show in Virginia.  Casey Byford, Casey Moss, J.W. Pipkin, Haley Smith, and Shae Ward are not only representing Yalobusha County, but the state of Mississippi as well.  Congratulations to these 4-Hers, and I am sure they will do their best.

As you already know this is Watermelon Carnival weekend in Water Valley.  Everybody is thinking about watermelons, so I found some interesting and fun facts about watermelons online.  Did you know that in 2005 Mississippi was the 13th largest watermelon producing state and produced 43,500,000 pounds of watermelon on 2,900 acres?  

Here are some other interesting and fun facts about watermelons:

18 Unknown Facts About Watermelon

1. To find out if a watermelon is ripe, knock it, and if it sounds hollow then it is ripe.

2. Watermelons are more than 90 percent water. That’s the secret behind the name! In ancient times travelers used watermelons as a replacement for water.

3. Watermelons are found in varied shapes and sizes and the latest addition is a SQUARE watermelon grown by the Japanese. These square watermelons were created to save space and to ensure that the watermelons fit in the refrigerators more easily. The farmers put the watermelons in a square tempered glass box, when the watermelon is still growing on the vine. The square boxes are of exact dimensions of the Japanese refrigerators that allows full-grown watermelon to fit in conveniently and precisely in refrigerator shelves. The square watermelons are generally priced at a very high premium.

4. The largest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. It was grown by Bill Carson of Arrington, Tennessee in 1990. (Reference: Guinness Book of Records).

5. A Watermelon is completely edible. While most of us relish the flesh part, the watermelon seeds can be roasted and eaten. Watermelon rind is used for making preserves, pickles and relish.

6. Over 1,200 varieties of watermelons are grown worldwide.

7. By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.

8. A watermelon was once thrown at Roman Governor Demosthenes during a political debate. Placing the watermelon upon his head, he thanked the thrower for providing him with a helmet to wear as he fought Philip of Macedonia.

9. The word “watermelon” first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.

10.  Every two years, the town of Chinchilla pays tribute to the melon harvest with the Chinchilla Melon Festival. The highlight of the festival however is Water Melon Skiing. They put down a long tarpaulin and make it slippery with the insides of a few dozen watermelons. Players take it in turns to stand at the beginning of the run, each foot encased in a scooped out watermelon. They then hold onto a rope being held by two people standing either side of the tarpaulin. These two players run down the course dragging the watermelon skier behind them. The person who remains on his feet for the longest distance is the winner.

11. The first cookbook published in the U.S. in 1776 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.

12. Though watermelon is commonly considered as a fruit it is actually a vegetable! It is a member of the cucumber family and is kin to the gourd.

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