Farmers Talk Cantaloupes Before Festival - - ABC13

Farmers Talk Cantaloupes Before Festival


Reporter: Heather Rosenbaum | Videographer: RJ Burnette

Halifax Co., VA -- The 32nd annual Halifax County Cantaloupe Festival starts Friday, and the cantaloupe farmers are ready. 

Even though the Festival only lasts one day, the melons take months to mature, days to ripen, and a season to prepare for. 

The Hudson family knows this best; they have been contributing to the cantaloupe festival since it started.

"We are going to take them over there this afternoon and they are going to prepare them, cut them up," said  Hudson, a farmer.

But this year, the Hudson's have seen fewer cantaloupes on the vines and have had a roller coaster season.

"We were picking 50 bins a day for about a week back when they first started coming in then we were out of cantaloupes for a few days," said Hudson.

In total, they've produced slightly fewer than average, but each melon has been greater in size. That strains the farmers because they have to work harder and longer for larger melons but only sell on quantity, not size.

"They are getting hit on both ends," said Stephen Barts, extension agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Farmers say even with the hardships they have been having this season, the taste should be just as good as always.

"From the consumer side, they should be happy with the quality of the melons they're getting," said Barts.

"I've heard nothing but good things from people," said Hudson.

That is something that the Hudson's find to be very valuable.

"It warms you up a little bit on the inside to see everybody else having a good time," said Hudson.

The festival starts Friday at 5 p.m. at the Halifax County fairground.

Get more information on the festival.

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