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The Daily



09-09-03: Bumber crop of watermelons


This summer’s cool and rainy weather played havoc on the muskmelon crop at Jutte’s Fruit Farm, Ohio 49, Fort Recovery, but the watermelons apparently loved the cool temperatures and thrived on this year’s abundant rainfalls.
“We have an abundant crop of watermelons this year, but the muskmelons didn’t like all the rain and didn’t do very well,” owner Oscar Jutte said recently.
The watermelons are ripening late this year, about two weeks behind schedule, because of the cool and cloudy weather, he added.
One of Jutte’s watermelons tipped the scales at a whopping 47 pounds. To put the behemoth to scale, an average-size melon weighs 12-15 pounds.
“It’s big, but it still will taste good and we’ll be eating it soon. The taste and quality of the watermelons this year is just excellent,” he said.
But the muskmelons are cracking in the field, likely from too much rain.
“This is the worst year I can remember for muskmelons. I grow a true muskmelon, an Eastern variety, not the cantaloupes. The wholesale of my muskmelons this year will be almost nil,” Jutte said.
A large portion of his nearly 10-acre melon patch is devoted to growing muskmelons.
Jutte’s Fruit Farm grows a variety of Crimson Sweet watermelons with seeds, but you won’t find any seedless melons at the roadside fruit stand located a few miles north of Fort Recovery.
“Seedless melons don’t have any flavor. I tried them about 15 years ago, when they were becoming popular, but I had problems and the quality just wasn’t there,” he said.
In addition to the Crimson Sweet watermelons, Jutte offers the smaller popular yellow pineapple watermelons.
“The pineapple melons are hard to find in the grocery stores because the rind is thin and they break easy,” he said. “It’s popular here and they come from all over to buy it.”
Jutte proudly notes this year marks the 50th year he has been growing and selling melons at the farm.
“I was just 12 years old when I started and have seen all kinds of melons in those 50 years,” he said.
Because of the bumper crop of watermelons, Jutte plans to offer his customers a special sale.
“When you buy one, you get the next for half price,” he said. “We need to make room for the pumpkins.”


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