Friday, June 29, 2012

Snowing in a Heat Wave (Watermelon Elementary)

It’s hot hot hot down here this week, and although we love watermelon when it’s super hot, the watermelons do not love it to be this hot.

watermelon sunscreen snow (18)Snowing in the watermelon fields!

It was blazing today and won’t get much better before the end of next week.

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The watermelon guru (Brad’s dad) and his boys are scrambling around to keep these growing melons protected from this heat. We are not ready to end our harvest, so we really want to keep the small melons from being damaged by too much sun.

What better way to defend against a heat wave than with snow?! It’s watermelon sunscreen! Right now, we are busy snowing field after field of melons to keep them from getting sunburned. If the sun burns the skin of the watermelon, it will go bad faster and won’t be good quality – especially for shipping. And we certainly don’t want any bleaching of those beautiful green stripes!

watermelon burnThis is a bit of an exaggeration because this picture was taken in August (a couple years back) after our harvest was over, but you can get the idea. See how the sun has burned the melon, and it has that really bad spot on the top? You know how in any produce the tiniest of spots can cause a huge mess… this is what we’re trying to avoid.

The guys use the tractor and watermelon sprayer to spray a protective layer over the fields of watermelons. The “snow” coats the tops of the watermelons to give the a layer of “melonscreen.”

watermelon sunscreen snow (21)

watermelon sunscreen snow (8)

Since the watermelons grow quickly, snow has to be applied again and again. It’s like painting a balloon and then blowing it up some more… the paint spreads thin and needs to be reapplied (thanks to my honey for his good teaching with that example!)

watermelon sunscreen snow (16)See how the snow just covers the part that the sun hits the most? The lower part of the watermelon is still really green. (And the part that sits on the ground is on it’s way to creamy yellow… just as it should be in a yummy ripe watermelon!)

watermelon sunscreen snow (2)Hopefully we’ll see this baby coming through the barn soon as a big beautiful watermelon with beautiful skin!

You most likely won’t see the snow on watermelons in the store because it comes off fairly easily. And, we have brushes on our line to polish them up nice and shiny!

2 comments:

Steph said...

Never knew watermelons needed sunscreen, lol. So what is snow? Is it a liquid? Powder? Gooey like sunscreen?

AA said...

Soo cool!! Smart idea!