A farmer has been able to recover one of the most popular fruits in Florida 100 years ago, favorite watermelon, with the help of pollinating bees, the Tampa Bay daily reported on Tuesday.
Will Crum, a 33-year-old farmer, invited chef Greg Baker on Thursday to taste the first Florida Favorite watermelon, a 30-pound sample that was defined as “fantastic” by the cook.
Despite being very popular as its name suggests, this type of watermelon, with a skin that resembles a “zigzag pattern”, stopped cultivating in the years of World War I (1914-1918) because it did not Was resistant enough to pests, the paper said.
Baker, who opened in 2015 with his wife Michelle a restaurant in Seminole Heights that recreates Florida food from 1820 to the Depression (1928), contact with Crum, a seventh-generation farmer, to help him provide native species Of Florida.
The two of them knew of the Favorita when they were walking behind some seeds of another type of watermelon, the Bradford, that had disappeared also but had already been recovered by another one impassioned of the “old” fruits.
The information was given to David Shields, a professor at the University of South Carolina, a Southern cooking specialist.
Finally, according to Tampa Bay, Crum began his experiment with just one photo of an old seed packet he found on eBay as a reference and with seeds from Favorite Relatives, Georgia Rattlesnakes and Bradford.
Crum planted 150 of the Bradfords and another 150 of the Georgia Rattlesnakes interspersed so that pollination of the bees was crossed to produce the hybrid seed and retrieve the favorite.
“With the first watermelon I realized that it was different, it looked like the seed packets from a long time ago,” said the farmer.