Comments: 1405 • Responses: 42 • Date: 2012-03-30 23:59:33 UTCsource
GhettoDoctor668 karma2012-03-31 01:05:59 UTC
What's the best kind of watermelon to eat after eating a bucket of KFC?
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Vo1ture599 karma2012-03-31 01:07:59 UTC
calvin-scones534 karma2012-03-31 01:29:39 UTC
Why do watermelons have stripes?
Is this camouflage? Who are they hiding from??
Vo1ture648 karma2012-03-31 01:36:49 UTC
It is so they can hide from the people who come in and steal the watermelons without paying for them.
Funny story actually. before I started working my boss told me there was a group of kids who would come every night and steal a lot of melons. Our boss figured it out by tire tracks and by the plethora of missing watermelons. He hid out in the field one night with a shotgun and shot it up into the air when they walked right past him. The kids were screaming please don't kill me while they ran back to their truck. Needless to say, they never stole another watermelon.
I caught this short redhead kid from my high school stealing a watermelon during the day one time. I didn't do anything about it, just thought it was funny watching him run across the field as fast as he could with his stumpy legs.
calvin-scones258 karma2012-03-31 01:45:05 UTC
The great watermelon heist of '010!
Why exactly were they stealing all these melons?
So this kid just shows up, grabs a melon, and starts running?
have you ever just completely missed/walked past a watermelon due to the stripes?
Vo1ture204 karma2012-03-31 01:49:59 UTC
Well towards the end of the year, if you didn't pick enough weeds they are completely encased in weeds and vines and shit. It's really easy to skip those, but we come back later and check again. It's like a fucking jungle out there sometimes.
I'm sure I have missed plenty of watermelons, but usually they are so big that they're noticeable. It's actually really hard to miss watermelons unless they are encased in vines. What our boss gets mad at is when we miss cantaloupes. Green/yellowish cantaloupes = ripe and blue/green = not ripe. The cantaloupes you see at big name stores are terrible. When you eat really good, ripe cantaloupe it makes a huge difference.
Edit: Forgot to answer the first question. I guess they were stealing them to resell them, but I think the redhead kid just wanted a tasty melon for free. And he was walking until he saw our wagon driving towards the field, lol.
ElleLen285 karma2012-03-31 00:26:20 UTC
This looks like it is going to be an interesting thread. I just have no idea what to ask! Can you start us off with some interesting/quirky facts that the average Joe wouldn't know?
Vo1ture459 karma2012-03-31 00:43:29 UTC
There are watermelons with a yellow heart instead of a pink heart. I have never actually seen one in person, but we've had customers ask for it before. My boss says they taste the same, but might have a hint of honeyish taste. This could be placebo because it is yellow, though.
Also, I work for a small business that just sells locally. There is a company that sells to Wal-Mart that cheated my boss with fraudulent checks ten years ago when they were first starting. No thought is put into the watermelons grown and picked for this company. The watermelons you buy at Wal-Mart are terrible compared to the quality we grow. This "big scale" company has knocked off a lot of local people and forced them to quit selling and lose their jobs.
vainamo-271 karma2012-03-31 04:15:04 UTC
I have seen these. Called "Moon and stars" watermelon because the rind has a lot of little yellow spots and one large one.
Vo1ture152 karma2012-03-31 05:36:28 UTC
Nice man, that looks a lot like it! Ours grow a lot bigger though, and usually don't have any spots.
whatdc102 karma2012-03-31 00:52:39 UTC
Having had yellow watermelon it does in fact taste different. It is not altogether uncommon in central Indiana, specifically Daviess county.
Vo1ture128 karma2012-03-31 00:57:08 UTC
Damn, I think we sell to some people around Daviess. You've probably ate a watermelon I picked!
[deleted]247 karma2012-03-31 04:12:02 UTC
Do you ever play Minecraft and impulsively farm melons?
freakazoid31850 karma2012-03-31 09:25:18 UTC
I wish this would have been answered.
Vo1ture6 karma2012-03-31 16:29:48 UTC
Just answered it for you. I don't play Minecraft. Disappointing answer, I know.
yesmanapple176 karma2012-03-31 00:34:42 UTC
How do you tell if a watermelon is ripe, or particularly sweet? Half the time, it seems I get the watermelons with pink-red interiors that aren't very sweet or flavorful.
Vo1ture324 karma2012-03-31 00:50:39 UTC
Some watermelon brands aren't as sweet as others. Crimsons do not last as long, but are sweeter. Starbrights are better quality with a stronger outer shell, but do not taste as good. On the watermelon plant, there is a really small vine that turns brown when a watermelon is near ripe or ripe. However, I have picked enough watermelons to the point where I can tap on it and listen to see if it is ripe or not. If it reverberates a lot, it isn't ripe. However, if it sounds more "dead" it is usually ripe. It's really hard to explain through type. I also think when you refrigerate a watermelon it changes the sound so it is even harder to tell.
Sorry I didn't clear up the question so well. Seedless watermelons are usually extremely sweet and tasty, just go with those if you are unsure. They are smaller though. I can guarantee if you ever end up with a watermelon I picked, it will be ripe! Haha. Usually watermelons that are sold to big stores are picked carelessly, so you aren't getting the great quality that is out there.
Anotherwanderer146 karma2012-03-31 00:45:51 UTC
What is the best type of vodka to fill a watermelon with after cutting a hole in it?
Vo1ture156 karma2012-03-31 00:53:59 UTC
Awesome idea. I'll PM you the answer when I try it this summer.
somecleverusername62313 karma2012-03-31 02:23:35 UTC
you mean you've worked with watermelons for 3 years and have NEVER
heard of vodka watermelon? i doubt your claim of watermelon knowledge.
Vo1ture88 karma2012-03-31 02:34:49 UTC
"I know nearly everything about watermelons."
I didn't drink much in high school, and really didn't have a need to. Those were the first two years I started working. I am a freshman in college right now, and I drink more then I use to so I thought his idea was pretty interesting.
[deleted]122 karma2012-03-31 01:33:46 UTC
What's the most interesting story you can tell us about picking watermelons?
(On a side note, I have no idea why this thread is interesting. It just is :D)
Vo1ture277 karma2012-03-31 01:42:08 UTC
I have hundreds of stories. I remember the first year I worked there, we had this one 45 year old person who works at a local factory and on off days he helps out in the fields. He's somewhat of a loser in life, but a nice and funny guy. There was a rotten cantaloupe on the ground, and he stuck his whole fist in the cantaloupe saying "This is how I fist my wife." He then proceeded to take all the juices out and put his fingers right by his nose and took a loud whiff of it.
Another funny story is we were all loading cantaloupes on a truck for this vendor. We had a huge ass assembly line going - one person would pick it from the wagon, toss it to someone else, who tossed it to someone else, who tossed it to someone else, and finally he would toss it to the kid loading the truck. Well we were moving as fast as we could, without realizing the kid loading couldn't keep up. He took at least 5 cantaloupes off the chest like a champ before we were like - oh shit man, sorry.
I also work with some really cool high school kids who moved from the Philippians when they were young. They're always pretty funny and have some interesting things to say.
flava-slave83 karma2012-03-31 00:21:27 UTC
how many types of watermelon are there?
whats the oddest watermelon shape youve seen?
Vo1ture161 karma2012-03-31 00:38:15 UTC
Our boss actually said there are over 100 variants of watermelons, but we just sell a couple different types. Seedless, Starbrights, Crimson, and "Garret Specials." About 40 years ago, one of the melons had a mutation, and him and his dad took the watermelon seeds from that watermelon. They have planted these seeds ever since. They are extremely dark green color and can get up to 60 lbs and still taste good. The Starbrights also get big, 30-50 lbs.
The best tasting watermelons that we grow are Seedless and Crimsons. Crimsons do not last as long as Starbrights or Garret Specials, but they are much sweeter. You can grow a special type of watermelon that weighs over 100 lbs, but cannot eat it because it is sour on the inside. I've never seen one, he just told me about it.
The oddest watermelon shape I have seen is when two watermelons formed together to look like breasts. I have only seen one of these, but usually about five or so cantaloupes form this way per year.
Edit: I forgot to mention Royal Sweets, they do not taste as good as Crimson, but are still really good. If you see watermelons for sell, I would recommend these because they taste good and last a very long time. Hell, they are all good.
spunky_sheets75 karma2012-03-31 04:25:52 UTC
has anyone ever been killed walking under a watermelon tree when one fell?
Vo1ture109 karma2012-03-31 05:49:09 UTC
untamedwildcat64 karma2012-03-31 01:38:14 UTC
How does one grow a seedless watermelon?
ChillyBearGrylls218 karma2012-03-31 02:26:42 UTC
You have to order the seed or buy it in a store. A seedless watermelon is a cross between a diploid watermelon line and a tetraploid line. This means that one parent has 2 sets of chromosomes, and the other parent has 4 sets, so the offspring end up with 3 sets of chromosomes. These offspring grow up to be the seedless watermelon plants and are sterile so they cannot produce a complete seed. They do still need to be planted with normal watermelons to provide viable pollen though.
Source: Horticulture classes for my major.
More info about actually growing them:
Vo1ture95 karma2012-03-31 02:41:38 UTC
Thanks for answering this!
Vo1ture77 karma2012-03-31 01:43:17 UTC
I'm not 100% sure. I asked our boss this, and he said he has to order these seeds from some manufacturer. They do something in a lab or something. I don't know the process man, sorry.
decayingteeth48 karma2012-03-31 05:53:44 UTC
How big was the watermelon that made you say "what-a-melon"?
Vo1ture10 karma2012-03-31 06:04:34 UTC
The days when we get to the "big" field near the end of the year. Everywhere you look there are fucking giants just waiting for you to pick them.
EternalMintCondition47 karma2012-03-31 02:36:38 UTC
Why do watermelons taste good with salt? Most fruits tend to go a lot better with sugar, but after skeptically tasting a salted watermelon, I can state that watermelons really are delicious with salt.
Vo1ture53 karma2012-03-31 02:38:37 UTC
I feel bad having questions I can't answer, but I don't know man. Sorry. Watermelons already have a lot of sugar, it's mainly sugar + water. I usually don't put salt on mine, because I just eat them while I'm out in the field.
EternalMintCondition37 karma2012-03-31 02:50:01 UTC
Thanks for the answer! By the way, how do you get them open when eating them out in the field? Do you bring a knife or is there some kind of secret pressure point that you strike at for a perfect split?
Vo1ture197 karma2012-03-31 02:52:07 UTC
If you drop them perfect from about four feet in the air they usually break right down the middle. If not they'll break into thirds. They never just splatter everywhere. It's really convenient, actually.
Isakandri60 karma2012-03-31 05:10:23 UTC
As someone that loves to munch on watermelons but hates the whole getting-them-ready-to-eat phase, this is the most useful comment I have ever read on reddit, thank you!
Vo1ture48 karma2012-03-31 06:13:55 UTC
You're welcome! I promise it'll work. Just use common sense and don't drop them from an insanely high point. Also, breaking them with a two foot drop with a little bit of pressure on concrete is the easiest.
OhCanada3699 karma2012-03-31 06:30:31 UTC
wait, do you drop them like, sideways, or tall-ways??
Vo1ture13 karma2012-03-31 06:43:25 UTC
Joki912138 karma2012-03-31 05:43:05 UTC
I'm sorta surprised that this hasn't been asked. But have you honestly ever heard or maybe even done stuck your wee wee in a watermelon? You know, cut out a hole and stick your dick in and masturbate and then feed it to your family once you've finished. Know what I'm talking about?
Vo1ture33 karma2012-03-31 06:03:11 UTC
Haven't done it. Would be funny to see some kid fucking a watermelon American Pie style.
rebellionlies31 karma2012-03-31 01:24:22 UTC
What's the work like? I'm sure the answer won't be "easy" but things like this are intriguing to me.
Vo1ture135 karma2012-03-31 01:32:01 UTC
God, it is tough. I would honestly say the average person would quit after three days.
The first few months we turn vines and pull weeds. This is the easy part. Basically, to turn vines you get a long stick or pole and turn the vines so they are straight in a row. You go down each and every row until they are all straight. Then we manually go through and pull the weeds close to the plant. We do this so our boss can use a machine to uproot the weeds that are not near the plant. We repeat this for a couple weeks until the watermelon start to grow.
Picking is the hardest part, but would be tolerable if it wasn't so hot outside. It gets up to 100 degrees with a heat index of over 110 in Indiana. When we pick, one person drives the tractor and two - four people pick watermelons and lay them in the wagon. The wagons are usually fairly big in size, and it takes about 30 minutes to load one up. The ride back feels like heaven and is usually about 10-15 long depending on what field we are in. I've fallen asleep a couple times on the ride back.
One story that comes to mind is when me and this skinny kid were picking, and our boss was driving the tractor. I thought I wasn't going to be able to walk anymore, and out of nowhere the other kid tells our boss to stop the tractor because he feels terrible. Our boss stops and lets him drive because he wants to finish the row. So I'm picking one side, and the boss is picking the other (He's like fucking 66 years old). The skinny kid stops the tractor, jumps off of it and just pukes everything out for like a minute. I've never been so happy to see someone puke, because our boss said we have to stop. So we just drove back and got him some water. That was the worst day I've had in all three years. I would say the heat index was over 120 that day. He paid us like thirteen bucks an hour for only four hours of work that day.
Windy and cool days are the shit though, I have no problem working on those days. It's just like going to the gym.
dacjames43 karma2012-03-31 06:56:23 UTC
As someone who has worked outside in hot weather, I can feel your pain. Once the temperature gets over 98.7, I feel like I'm dying just being outside. Having to dig up a stumps for three days, 8 hours a day in 105-110 degree heat was almost unbearable. Thankfully, this was unusual for my job, so my boss gave us all a 40$ bonus.
I can't imagine dealing with this kind of heat for weeks on end. I have nothing but respect for people working out in the fields. You should feel proud of what you did. And work hard in college so you never have to do it again!
Vo1ture103 karma2012-03-31 07:01:40 UTC
Thanks man, I appreciate this comment. I was so close to getting a paid internship this summer doing what I enjoy which is graphic design. Not trying to advertise, but you can check out my portfolio at www.brandonspahn.com if you'd like. Unfortunately, they were full, but they said they would take me next summer. So this'll probably be the last summer I'll be working in the fields. I'm thankful, but it has taught me a lot about working hard. Our boss says you will be able to do any job in the future if you can get through a year of this.
clafouti29 karma2012-03-31 02:01:07 UTC
How often do you eat watermelon? Are you sick to death of it by now?
Vo1ture70 karma2012-03-31 02:15:43 UTC
I eat like 4 to 6 watermelon hearts a day during the summer. I really don't get tired of it. When you're thirsty and hungry during work it's quick and efficient. Our boss usually doesn't care if we break one open.
xandora31 karma2012-03-31 04:10:17 UTC
What do you mean by the 'heart'?
Vo1ture44 karma2012-03-31 05:41:13 UTC
When you break open the melon by hitting it on the ground, you can usually put your hand in the center and take out a big chunk.
cholodolo28 karma2012-03-31 00:47:17 UTC
How do they make cubic watermelons?
Vo1ture61 karma2012-03-31 00:55:04 UTC
I think the Japanese store them in square containers and they just fill them out naturally. We've never had to do this.
theblackhourglass25 karma2012-03-31 01:23:43 UTC
How far can you spit a watermelon seed?
Vo1ture33 karma2012-03-31 01:24:27 UTC
No idea, I've never really tried to spit one far. Probably not very far, tbh.
[deleted]21 karma2012-03-31 01:40:08 UTC
I have a question about watermelons. What is the best way to infuse them with booze? What's the best combination that you all like? How long should I let that motha marinate before serving time?
Love me some watermelon
Vo1ture14 karma2012-03-31 01:46:15 UTC
I can honestly say I don't know why this never crossed my mind. I am definitely going to try something like this over the summer this year. I would try putting some sort of flavored vodka and funneling it into the watermelon by cutting a small hole into it and then sticking it into the fridge for a day or so.
[deleted]18 karma2012-03-31 01:50:58 UTC
We use a turkey baster with a massive syringe and inject the watermelon so that no air gets out.. Everclear and 100 proof spirits work well and absorb into the watermelon and eliminates the taste of booze alltogether.
Yup I think I see a boozed up watermelon in my near future!
Vo1ture17 karma2012-03-31 01:54:11 UTC
Awesome. I can't wait to try this out. Some good things are coming out of this AMA, thanks for posting this!
Frajer19 karma2012-03-31 00:40:32 UTC
What's the most fun thing you can do with a watermelon, besides eating it obviously?
Vo1ture97 karma2012-03-31 00:53:09 UTC
Man I have so many stories from work that are just great. I work with a couple other kids my age. A wagon is hooked up to the back of a tractor, and the boss drives it on the road out to the fields. We sit on the wagon connected to the tractor. We would break open a watermelon and throw pieces of it at the big-ass tires and watch the pieces fly into the air. Whoever could hit the boss with a piece that flew in the air without him noticing was the winner.
Also, putting firecrackers in watermelons are pretty fun.
Edit: If you want to mess with people get a needle and shoot blue food coloring into a watermelon. Break it open in front of them and start eating it.
The_dog_says19 karma2012-03-31 03:56:23 UTC
FINALLY THE AMA I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!
do you, personally, like salt on your watermelons? I can't stand the concept.
Vo1ture17 karma2012-03-31 05:45:14 UTC
I don't eat my melons with salt, I would much rather just have them plain. When you're out working though, you just want to something to drink and eat, so you don't mind either way.
TrueBlonde17 karma2012-03-31 00:50:25 UTC
When I worked in produce, I was told that you are supposed to smack them. If they sound hollow, then they're ripe.
Was I getting trolled?
Vo1ture23 karma2012-03-31 00:56:09 UTC
Nah. If they sound more hollow or dead, they are usually ripe. But if they reverberate a lot they are under ripe. However, I think cooling them in a refrigerator effects the noise.
qwerty08115 karma2012-03-31 01:48:00 UTC
How big was the largest watermelon you've seen?
Vo1ture36 karma2012-03-31 01:53:19 UTC
Over 60 lbs. The big ones just look unbelievable, it's really quite amazing how they can grow that big. Fuck, I had a picture of a 50 lb watermelon on my old phone, but it broke last month. I have a girl and a skinny kid who work with me, and I feel bad for them because they have trouble picking up the heavier watermelons. I personally have no problems, but it can get tiring quick.
BigNikiStyle13 karma2012-03-31 04:51:21 UTC
Do you ever see the insides of them? I used to work at a grocery store and one of my jobs was quartering watermelons and wrapping them in plastic wrap to be put on display. The older guys used to tell me that, very rarely, they'd get a watermelon that was yellow inside, not red or pink, and that they were super sweet. Myth or fact, melon whisperer?
Vo1ture15 karma2012-03-31 05:50:53 UTC
I explained yellow watermelons earlier up in the page. 100% fact. I have personally never had one, but I know about them.
IntrepidCubReporter12 karma2012-03-31 02:47:50 UTC
In what state do you work in these watermelon fields? Just curious. I have family that used to grow melons in the Vincennes, IN area. It's known for growing good melons because of the sandy soil in that region.
Vo1ture15 karma2012-03-31 02:50:13 UTC
I live in Poseyville, Indiana which is about an hour from Vincenness. I work in a small town called Owensville. Vincennes is a really nice place, and I have been there many times in the past for basketball tournaments, tennis matches, and to visit some of the historic sites.
shainiac13 karma2012-03-31 04:26:11 UTC
Ah Ha! When I saw this AMA, I had a weird feeling you might have been from Owensville. Same goes for myself. I grew up working in the fields for Jochims. I'm guessing you worked for Frey's? Small world.
Vo1ture13 karma2012-03-31 05:43:27 UTC
I work for Garret produce. Frey's is who bought out everyone. Garret is a lot smaller and everyone knows everyone. It is a small world though, nice to see a fellow Redditor from southern Indiana!
poccorocco210 karma2012-03-31 00:21:42 UTC
What is the best condition to grow them?
Vo1ture18 karma2012-03-31 00:40:31 UTC
Watermelon are usually fairly easy to grow compared to cantaloupe. With watermelon, as long as you plant them in the summer and manage to keep the weeds out, they usually grow fine. However, last year we had a lot of rain and that messed up other owner's crops. (There are about five different companies around where I live. I work for the smallest one.) Our owner planted them really early to compensate for this, and we didn't have problems. The rain mainly effected our cantaloupe produce for that summer.
splittybus7 karma2012-03-31 04:11:41 UTC
Does your farm have a bunch of hacked up old school buses to transport melons around the fields and sometimes to the market? Or is that a local thing...
Vo1ture17 karma2012-03-31 05:47:59 UTC
We do not have these, we just use a tractor and wagon. However, a nearby company that is much bigger has over 100 buses and god knows how many Mexicans working for them.
TheGlassDanse7 karma2012-03-31 00:27:24 UTC
What would you consider to be the most 'fun fact' you've learned about watermelons?
Vo1ture22 karma2012-03-31 00:46:17 UTC
How to tell if a watermelon is ripe by just tapping on it with my hand. I could try and explain it through type, but it's really something you just have to hear and learn yourself. I have also learned the basics of how to drive a tractor, which is pretty cool. Those are the best work days, because I don't have to do shit!
shainiac6 karma2012-03-31 04:18:30 UTC
Holy shit! I worked in the Indiana watermelon fields every summer through middle school and high school! Gibson County, Indiana
Vo1ture5 karma2012-03-31 05:48:48 UTC
Same man. We might have worked together or near each other. You worked for Creek I'm assuming? I work for Garret.
Chubberknuckles5 karma2012-03-31 03:10:07 UTC
Does the "thumping" method of determining ripeness have any merit?
Vo1ture11 karma2012-03-31 03:14:27 UTC
Yeah. I answered this in detail earlier, but if you tap it and it reverberates a lot it usually isn't ripe yet. However, if it sounds more hollow or dead, it is ripe. If it sounds really hollow, it'll be sour. You can also tell if it is ripe or not by the "stem" vine (I'm not sure of the exact term). When that turns brown, it is normally ripe.
I'm going out for tonight though, so I can't answer anymore questions until I get back. Sorry.
nata33153 karma2012-03-31 03:59:33 UTC
Have you noticed a lot of post-harvest waste? As in, some watermelons (some of which may be perfectly fine) just being left in the fields. If so, what do you think about this sort of thing?
Vo1ture5 karma2012-03-31 05:46:33 UTC
Good question! Not so much with where I work. We go back up and down our fields as much as possible. Our boss likes to conserve and tries to be as efficient as possible. However, a nearby place that is much bigger and sells to Wal-Mart only goes down each field once and wastes about 40% of their crop.
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