Sunny weather results in sweet Smith County watermelon crop

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 7:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Weather is the make or break for Smith County’s prized watermelons.

Brenda Langham and her family have been selling Smith County watermelons and other produce from the Old Farmers’ Market in Jackson for decades. So, 3 on Your Side went straight to the source to find out how this year’s crop is doing.

“When the watermelons actually come on the vine, we had sunshine,” explained Brenda Langham. “And when it grew, it grew by the sunshine. Sunshine is what makes the watermelon so sweet. If you have a lot of rain during this time when it’s on the vine, then it’s not as sweet. But this year, it hit just right for the watermelons, the tomatoes, everything had the sunshine that ripened it.”

Long-time customers say this is a can’t miss part of their holiday plans each year.

“Yeah, that’s been tradition on the 4th of July,” noted Frederick Haskin. “I got to get a watermelon from Brenda’s Produce. The sweetest one in town.”

“I came to get the watermelon, the peaches and tomatoes, and a little bit of everything she’s got,” said customer Maureen Dickerson. “She’s the best.”

“My daddy has always told everybody that comes down here. They’d say, ‘Mr. Herman, pick me out a good watermelon,’” explained Langham. “He said, ‘Okay,’ and he did this. And he said, ‘But now I’m gonna tell you something.’”

“The only way to tell is to lay the pocket knife to it and get a piece of it in your mouth,” Langham’s father Herman Cockrell said back in 2008.

So, Langham pulled out a knife while we were at the stand Monday.

“This is what a Smith County watermelon looks like when it’s a good watermelon,” she said as she opened the cut melon. “See the red, the dark seed, the texture; it is wonderful. That watermelon is going to be so sweet and so good.”

Brenda’s Produce is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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