Watermelons are native to the Kalahari Desert of the Southern Africa. The first recorded watermelon crop was found in Egypt. From Egypt, watermelons spread throughout countries along the Mediterranean Sea by way of merchants. Ultimately, the watermelon crossed the Atlantic Ocean and made its way to North America with the African Slaves. However the word “watermelon” first appeared in the English Dictionary in 1615’s.
Watermelons are mostly water and its about 92% but this refreshing juice is soaked with a significant level of vitamins A, B6, C, Calcium, Magnesium, Fibre, Protein, Amino acid, Niacin, Thiamin, Antioxidants, lots of Lycopene, and large amount of Potassium.
In Ghana, watermelon is grown a lot in the Ada West District. It is planted two times a year between January and March against the minor rainy season and from September to October during the major raining season. Generally, melons reach harvest 65 to 90 days depending on the varieties. The smaller melons take 65 to 80 days to mature whist the larger ones require 90 or more days to mature. Talking about the varieties of watermelon, there are six varieties according to the Ada West District officer, Mr. Reuben Adase and these include the “Sugar Baby, Kaolack, Top Harvest, Monac, Sweet Dragon and Trimson Sweet.
SIGNS OF MATURITY
In maturity time, the vines tendrils begin to turn brown and die. Some varieties develop a circular crack around the stem, others soften at the blossom end and if one side of the watermelon rest on the ground, it will go from white to yellow, showing its maturity.
AVAILABILITY AND SALE
The fruit is very much in season now and can be spotted in every marketplace. Based on an interview by GIJ Online News, watermelon sellers in the Dzorwulu vicinity say people buy watermelon a lot. According to one Muslim seller, “Melon sells faster in the rainy season when the Muslim fasting falls on the raining season. The Muslims especially buys it a lot during their fast and it is as well one of the fastest selling fruits in summer times. She also commented, “I have experienced the amazing powerful body-healing ability of watermelon which works from the brain to the cells of the feet.”
HEALTH BENEFITS OF WATERMELON
The long list of healthy effects of watermelons are mainly derived from its unique nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and organic compounds. The components of watermelon contribute to its major impacts on our health.
• Prevents Heat Stroke
• Prevents High Blood Pressure
• Prevents Cancer
• Prevents Heart Cancer
• Prevents Impotence and
• Repairs damaged tissues
Many people like to eat watermelon in the summer because of its cool and refreshing nature, especially when taken in chilled, and also its nutrients which nourishes the body and the systems.
BY:Jennifer Opoku Danquah(Level300).