Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Andalusia native Jesse Wiggins cranked up his front-loader, loaded up his 114-pound watermelon and drove into town with a smile on his face.

Wiggins was among several other local farmers selling their produce for those who want to purchase the fresh, wholesome goodness of buying local at the PowerPlant Marketplace on Saturday.

Wiggins said it took 100 to 120 days to grow the watermelon.

“I got some good seed out of Carolina Cross,” he said.

Wiggins’s farm is in the Oakey Ridge Community, and he said he planted the fruit around Good Friday.

“I was growing it as something to play around with,” he said. “There wasn’t anything to growing it.”

Though the Carolina Cross watermelon doesn’t top the unofficial record 210 pound watermelon grown by an Eva, Ala., man in 2010, Wiggins’ prized possession is equivalent to nearly 23 5 pound bags of sugar.