17kg whopper of a watermelon grown by Gisborne farmer
Gisborne earth mover and farmer Kevin Neshausen has been growing watermelons for fun over the last 10 years and this year he has grown his biggest yet.
The watermelon grew to 17 kilograms and before harvesting it, he grew one that weighed 13kg.
“I don't know what type of watermelon it is because the seeds came from a big watermelon a friend of a friend gave me in Tauranga.
“I ate the watermelon and just chucked the seeds in the garden,” Mr Neshausen said.
After a Google search, he believes he found the variety — a candy red watermelon. The flesh is deep red encased in a light green skin.
“The 13kg one we pulled out the other day was one of the sweetest watermelons I've grown.”
Kevin fed his watermelon a good diet of sheep manure, dolomite lime and normal garden fertiliser.
He would only water the fruit when it was needed.
“You don't want them getting too wet or too dry.
“It's just a good bit of fun,” he said of his melon-growing.
“I'm sure there are other bigger watermelons around Gisborne, so come on, show us what ya got,” Kevin said.
Watermelon are both a fruit and a vegetable (they are classified as part of the botanical family of gourds that include cucumber, squash and pumpkin).
You can eat the entire fruit — the rinds can be stir-fried or stewed while the seeds can be dried and roasted.
They are 92 percent water, hence the name
They come in 1200 different varieties but are classifieds into four main categories — seeded, seedless, icebox and yellow/orange.
The Guiness World Record for the heaviest watermelon is 159kg, a Carolina Cross variety grown in Tennessee, USA.
Watermelons are a source of lycopene — an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
Farmers in Japan grow watermelons in different shapes, including cubes, hearts and pyramids and sell them for big bucks.