SAN ANTONIO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service melon trials at the San Antonio Food Bank not only provided produce for those in need,but also important information for Texas agricultural producers.
“We’ve been conducting these trials at the Urban Farm of the San Antonio Food Bank for four years,” said David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, Bexar County. “This year, we planted 16 varieties of watermelon to determine how they would perform.”
According to the food bank website, produce grown at the Urban Farm feeds the hungry and a small portion is sold at local farmers markets operated by the food bank or through its Mobile Mercado — a green grocer on wheels bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to areas of the community with limited access to them.
“This year we harvested at least 10,000 pounds of watermelon and less than 1,000 of that was used to get data for the trials,” said Mike Persyn, Urban Farm manager. “The rest went for distribution to those in need.”
The watermelon varieties were planted April 12 from seedlings grown at Peterson Brothers Nursery in San Antonio.