By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau
Melons and sweet corn, these two agriculture foods are some of my favorite summer foods. They’re fresh, healthy and local for our Arizona families.
And, you don’t have to go far to get summer melons and sweet corn. Our local grocers and farmers’ markets feature plenty of our summer melons and sweet corn during our Arizona summers.
Below are some fast, fun facts about Arizona melons and sweet corn.
- 14 major Arizona melon growers grow for our local and national market on nearly 3,000 acres; the majority of production. Most of the melon production you see in large fields is in Yuma and Maricopa counties. (Check out our video in this article about Yuma agriculture.)
- Melons include a variety of cantaloupe, honey dew and watermelons.
- The 14 Arizona growers are mostly very large commercial growers; still family-owned and operated.
- One Family Martori’s have grown melons since 1953; 3 generations. They market their melons under the “Kandy” label. The family sells to all major retailers.
- Another Family, the Rousseaus, are growing Watermelon and harvested as we write these fun facts. They market under the “MelonUp” and “Dynasty” labels. They also do sweet corn. Three generations of Rousseaus have been farming in Tolleson and Scottsdale.
- The Rousseau family has their own Farmers’ Market called Rousseau Farmers’ Market on Saraval and Olive in the West Valley.
- Other retail farmers are serving up melons at a variety of farmers’ markets throughout Arizona.
- A recent Sweet Corn video tells Arizona’s sweet corn story (View it in this article).
- A handful of growers in the valley and in southern and northern Arizona grow most of our sweet corn we enjoy in the summer.
- Season begins mid-May and continues through September.
- Arizona has a sweet corn festival in late summer up north.
- Go to Fill Your Plate for melon and sweet corn recipes. Searchable by product.