Seedless Watermelons…It’s all in the Genes.



We all know that plants have seeds. If you plant a seed from a fruit or vegetable you will get the same, or similar fruit or vegetable. So where do the seeds come from for a seedless watermelon?

There are seeds for seedless watermelons. However to have the vines bear fruit we plant watermelon seeds from watermelons with seeds to pollinate the seedless variety.

Here’s the best and most concise explanation I could find. If you would rather skip the science class, feel free to scroll down to our newest recipe, Agua Fresca de Sandia.

  • The first seedless watermelons were produced in 1939 by Kihara and Nishiyama, researchers at the Japanese National Institute of Genetics.
  • A normal watermelon is diploid, which means it has two sets of chromosomes (the thread-like structures that carry an organism’s genes). Normally, when one plant pollinates another, the embryo plants in the resulting seeds contain one set of chromosomes from one parent and one from the other, giving them a complete set of two.
  • But there’s a chemical called colchicine, an alkaloid extracted from the autumn crocus and some other plants that can cause the chromosomes in dividing plant cells to double. By applying colchicine to the terminal buds of watermelon plants, Kihara and Nishiyama were able to produce offspring with were tetraploid–they had four sets of chromosomes instead of just two.
  • They then mated the tetraploid plants with ordinary diploid plants. Since the offspring received two sets of chromosomes from one parent and only one from the other, they were triploid–they had three sets of chromosomes. They were also sterile: they’d produce flowers, but no seeds.
  • Of course, since fruit exists to house seeds, the triploid plants also had no reason to produce watermelons. Fortunately, they could be tricked into it: if their flowers were pollinated by a fertile plant with an even number of chromosomes, they acted as if they’d been fertilized, even though they really hadn’t, and developed fruit (which isn’t, strictly speaking, seedless, but the pale, soft seeds it does contain can be eaten instead of having to be spit out.)
  • In the field, seedless watermelon seeds are produced by sandwiching a row of tetraploid plants between two rows of diploid plants. Seedless watermelons, in turn, are produced by sandwiching a row of seedless watermelon plants between rows of regular watermelon plants, because the triploid plants have to be pollinated by diploid or tetraploid plants to produce fruit.                                



Agua Fresca de Sandia


  • 4cups diced, peeled ripe watermelon
  • 3cups water
  • 2 to 3teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Blend together the watermelon or cantaloupe with 1 1/2 cups of the water, the lime juice and the sugar at high speed until smooth.
  2. Strain through a medium strainer into a large pitcher or bowl.
  3. Stir in the remaining water.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
  5. Fill a glass with ice, pour in the agua fresca, garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

Recipe adapted from Martha Rose Shulman




Who Wants To Be Cool?

With the weather soaring to nearly 100° it’s time to turn off your oven and enjoy some of the refreshing produce you find at the Farmers Market. Here’s a recipe guaranteed to be a hit.

Watermelon Mojito Salad Recipe
Original Source 

Mojito Watermelon, Cucumber salad

Try using all three colors of seedless watermelons.

Prep time:  20 mins
Total time:  20 mins
Serves: Serves 6


  • 3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups seedless cucumber, cubed
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • Zest from two limes
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper



  1. Cut the rind off the watermelon and cut into medium-sized cubes (about ½-inch).
  2. Peel the cucumber, if you prefer, and cut into similar sized cubes.
  3. Slice the mint leaves thinly. To chiffonade, stack the leaves on top of each other. Roll them up lengthwise into a bundle, then thinly slice.
  4. Combine these ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. In a smaller bowl or a small jar, combine the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir (or shake) well to combine. Pour over the watermelon and cucumber and stir well.

Alternative Dressing

Substitute white balsamic vinegar for the lime juice. White balsamic vinegar has less tartness than lime juice but still brings the correct acidity to the dressing.


Are Your Cucumbers in a Pickle?



In our last post I talked about the confusing notion that we have October Beans in July. Now I’m going to tell you that you don’t have to pickle pickling cucumbers. You read that correctly. You can eat pickling cucumbers without pickling them.

The cucumbers we grow and sell as pickling cucumbers are Kirby cucumbers. They are very crisp because their seed cavity is small and undeveloped, which also means they have fewer seeds than slicing cucumbers. (Source)

Kirby cucumbers have a thinner skin than slicing cucumbers so you don’t need to peel them. These tasty little pickling cucumbers also pack a nice little crunch when you bite into them. Take them with you during these hot summer days as a nice hydrating snack. And yes, they do make really great pickles too.

All our cucumbers are picked, washed and stored in cold storage until we pack them in the truck for market.

The cucumbers we sell fall into three categories:

  • Slicing cucumbers
    These are the cucumbers you usually see at the grocery store. They often have a wax coating. They have the thickest skin and the biggest seeds.
  • Seedless cucumbers
    These are also called burpless cucumbers. They are long and often curved. Their skin is tender and they tend to be sweeter than most cucumbers with fewer or undeveloped seeds.
  • Pickling cucumbers
    We have both green and yellow pickling cucumbers. These are short and stocky and hold up well to brining making them perfect for pickling. But they can be eaten fresh as well.

And this year we are currently testing a red cucumber. Please go to our Facebook page and let us know what you think.
Please enjoy these recipes from the University of Illinois Extension

Cucumber Yogurt Salad Dressing

This is a delicious, heart healthy, low calorie salad dressing which can be used as a dip for steamed or raw vegetables or as a topping for baked potatoes or steamed carrots. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2/3 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until creamy and smooth. Chill for about 2 hours before serving. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Thai Cucumber Salad

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 pickling or slicing cucumbers, sliced lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 10 whole cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, julienne (about 1 inch long)

Combine the sugar, vinegar and salt and heat in a small sauce pan until sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes) do not boil. Set saucepan in cold water to cool the vinegar mixture. When cool, pour over cucumbers and garnish with red peppers. Serves four.


If you’re interested in some easy Refrigerator Pickle Recipes click HERE to go to pickle recipes. Keep scrolling down until you find one that sounds yummy.







Produce with an Identity Crisis



If you’ve been to our stand at the farmers market recently then you may be confused by our October beans. Yes, we have October beans in July. How can that be? It’s all in a name. October beans are also known as borlotti beans, cranberry beans, Roman beans or romano beans. Like many other vegetables, October beans are called different names depending where you’re from.

These beans are not really having an identity crisis, they just have a few aliases.

Here’s some tips about October (borlotti) beans:

  • Look for pods that have bulging beans. Don’t pick the flat ones.
  • The beans in the fall should be cream with the same red/pink striping as the pods. However, in the summer it is not unusual for some to be mostly green. Again look for pods that look like they have nice size beans in them.
  • You really have to shell them. The pod is inedible at this stage. I would leave them in their shell until I wanted to cook them.
    Don’t shell them at the stand. As you can see they roll away pretty easily.
  • In doing research I’ve discovered that cooking time varies from website to website. The shortest cook time was 20 minutes. I suggest you take one out and see if that is the texture you want. You can always cook them a little longer.

But now is the time to take advantage of these beans in their freshest form. Of course they will be back in October.

Here’s a link to a tasty recipe using fresh borlotti beans:
Borlotti Beans with Garlic and Olive Oil

They are also tasty in soups.


Exploding Spaghetti Squash


Spahetti squash Explosion









We’ve had a few customers mention that they tried to cook their spaghetti squash in the microwave and it EXPLODED!

Here’s a great video with nutritional information about spaghetti squash and how to cook it without it exploding in your microwave.

Spoiler alert: Use a knife to poke holes in it to release the steam.


Don’t Forget about the Zucchini!

We will continue bringing zucchini to the markets until our first hard frost. Here’s a recipe from one of our customers using all ingredients from our stand.


Adapted from: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch










  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium zucchini/squash(green & golden zucchini and yellow squash) , cut into slices
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, heirloom work best, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Add butter and olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and onion and cook until zucchini slightly tender and onion begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, thyme and salt and pepper.

I personally like some caramelization on the zucchini so I cook them a little longer than 3 minutes. If you really want to give it a little more flair, sprinkle it with some grated Parmesan cheese and put it under the broiler for just a minute. YUM!

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