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Aug 7, 2013 11:53 AM by Bill Folsom

Sweet: Rocky Ford cantaloupe harvest strong this year

"We're going to Kansas. They think it's candy out there," said Ranelle Williams. She is in Rocky Ford, Colorado picking up tons of cantaloupes and other melons and will drive them to Kansas where her family sells them at a local market.

The melon crop is Rocky Ford is prime right now. Farmers have crews out picking all day, every day. It is a bountiful crop in a part of Colorado where other types of agriculture suffer from the drought. Dry in southeast Colorado can also be sweet for the melon fields of Rocky Ford." A lot of water can dilute the flavor of cantaloupe. "They don't develop the sugar they necessarily should.," said cantaloupe grower, Nathan Knapp, "They just aren't as good when we have too much rain." So does it mean this years melons are sweeter? "Yes sir," said Knapp.

Knapp farms and the half dozen other growers in Rocky Ford ship thousands of tons of melons to grocery stores over the next couple of weeks. Hundreds of other people like the tradition of a road trip to roadside produce markets in Rocky Ford for fresh off the vine melons. "It would really surprise you. There are people traveling from five to six hundred miles away just to come through Rocky Ford to get some of the fresh produce."

 

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