September Harvest of the Month: Watermelon

Posted by on Sep 7, 2018 | Comments Off on September Harvest of the Month: Watermelon

September Harvest of the Month: Watermelon

This year’s Harvest of the Month September kick-off was such an exciting one! September was the month of the watermelon! This is not the first time that the students in at CCS have enjoyed the delicious juiciness of a local watermelon but it is the first time it has been highlighted as the Harvest of the Month. Last year at this time local watermelon was a side option for Charlottesville City Schools’ Local on the Line program. So working with CCS’s experience with mass-preparation of watermelon from last year, and Local Food Hub’s connection to Luke and Stacey Hallman (farmers outside of Richmond) we prepared 45 watermelon to distribute today making it the most produce purchased for a single Harvest of the Month–totaling 675 lbs. of produce! With the help of 6 first year med students and two hours of very juicy, sticky watermelon preparation, we were ready and excited to distribute this delicious snack and see what all of the students thought. 

This semester there has been a major change to Harvest of the Month. Until now we have been hosting the elementary school programming in the classrooms. We would show up early, divide the produce into the number of classrooms and we would show up a bucket to each classroom and drop it off in a way not to disturb the lecture. This year, we have decided to shift the distribution to a table in the cafeteria–as we do for older grades. This allows us to have conversations about the produce and hear more opinions on the harvest. As we walk around to the tables asking if students want to try, we get to hear more of the humming about the produce. And oh, boy did this work! Students had so much to say about it! Most kids had a chance to eat it  This month, to no one’s surprise, we heard very positive and excited feedback around the watermelon.

Students quickly guessed the fruit for Harvest of the Month following this trivia question: Hidden among the long vines it grows on, this dark green fruit grows directly on the ground. When ripe, you break open the large fruit to see the colorful inside that we eat. The pink flesh of the fruit is speckled with black seeds that we don’t eat but often spit out along the way. What is it?

Students were very surprised–after guessing watermelon–when we walked over to their table telling them that the red, pink and orange cubes were all different varieties of watermelon. One student at Clark wasn’t sure that she wanted to try it because she “didn’t like cantaloupe” and the orange watermelon looked like cantaloupe. Once she ate it and realized that it wasn’t cantaloupe she was eager to try more.

With watermelon it is easy to want to come up and try one, two, three, four helpings of the delicious hydrating fruit. Eating watermelon on a 90 degree September day, we were very reminiscent of the summertime and came back for more!