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The watermelon is of the Cucurbitaceae (or Gourd) family. It's origin, Africa, was established by David Livingstone (noted missionary explorer), in the 1850's. He found great tracts of watermelon growing wild in the Kalahari desert of Africa. Cultivation by man dates back at least 4000 years to the Egyptians.
North Carolina Watermelon Facts
North Carolina produces about 7,600 acres of watermelon valued at over $29 million.
North Carolina ranks about 8th in the nation, producing over 193 million pounds
How to Select & Store:
Choose a watermelon symmetrical in shape without dents, bruises and cuts. Thump, if you must (listen for dull hollow sound). Turn watermelon over. The underside should be creamy yellow with a healthy sheen to the rind. Store cut watermelons in refrigerator. Cover cut surface loosely with plastic wrap. Uncut watermelons keep at room temperature for up to two weeks.
The North Carolina Watermelon Association Story
The North Carolina Watermelon Association was organized in 1975 as the N. C. Watermelon Growers and Distributors Association. Reorganized in 1982 with the present name, NCWA is the North Carolina Chapter of the National Watermelon Association, which also includes organizations from Maryland-Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas-Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and California-Arizona.
NCWA is made up of members from both inside and outside of North Carolina. An annual meeting of members is held yearly in March where, with a traditional pageant, a state queen is chosen to represent the association. During the summer months the queen makes appearances at festivals, parades, grand openings, state market promotions, on television and radio.
The purpose of the association is to promote the best interest of the watermelon industry from production to consumption. The state organization together with the NCDA is constantly seeking improvements in the growing, grading, handling, transportation, sale and distribution of watermelon.