Home grown

Picking the perfect watermelon for a salad


When I was little, I always loved driving around Mitchell. My parents would point out a watermelon stand, and then we’d look to see if it was my grandparents’. My dad’s parents used to sell Forestburg Melons on different corners around town, and since that was before everyone had cell phones, we’d have to drive to different spots searching for them. It was like a game of hide-and-seek for me.

It was fun as a kid to hang out at the stand and watch all of the different people stop in. Everyone had their own way of picking out a melon. Some people just grabbed one, but the fun ones to watch were the ones who sniffed, shook or knocked on them.

Whenever I’d get bored at the stand, I’d walk around knocking on all of the melons. I had no idea why the people were knocking on them or what exactly they were listening for, but I just liked doing the knocking and hearing the different sounds that would come out.

When I was in middle school, my dad decided to sell melons for a couple years in Brookings. Of course, as a young teenager it wasn’t quite as much fun, but I didn’t mind it. Friday nights when my dad got off work, we’d drive to Forestburg where he’d haggle for the best price he could get on watermelon and muskmelon, and then we’d make the long drive back.

The next morning we’d get up early, and I’d help him run his stand. The hardest part was always unloading melons to set out along the road to catch the eye of people driving by.

I still got a kick out of watching people stop in and use their own methods of finding the perfect melon, and I learned a lot about sales and upselling from watching my dad.

Watermelon always bring up a lot of great memories for me, and I’ve learned a lot about picking a good one. This week I’m sharing an easy recipe you can throw together and some tips to pick out the perfect melon. Enjoy!


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