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Watermelon season at peak

Americans consumed 16.2 pounds of watermelon per capita in 2007, according to the Agricultural marketing resource center. No doubt, a good many of that fresh melon was consumed on the Fourth of July.

Friday, Roger Paramore was busy selling a trailer-load of melons he hauled in from Florida.

“I bought these from the farmer I work for,” he said. “This will be about the end of the season for us. People stop buying them after the Fourth.”

Paramore suggested that customers look for melons with a yellow belly.

“Those are the ripe ones,” he said. “You can also thump them. The ripe ones will have a hollow sound.”

12-year-old Jesse Chandler, who was helping his uncle sell the melons, said the busiest times of the day are “when people go to lunch and when they get off from work.”

Paramore said he thinks the best way to consume watermelon is cold and with salt.

“The way we were brought up, we’d put one in a cold spring while we were swimming,” he said. “Then we’d take a break and cut one open. That’s the best way to enjoy them.”