Last week, Farmerville hosted its 46th annual Watermelon Festival, complete with a seed-spitting contest and crowning of the 2009 Miss Louisiana Watermelon. One lucky melon won in the Best Dressed category. But lest we forget, these summertime fruits are best suited for eating. Watermelons are harvested in as many as 25 parishes in June and July each year and are available at most farmers markets and produce aisles. But their use doesn't stop when you hit the rind — try using the fruit in preserves, or, if you're scientifically inclined, experiment with using it as an ethanol fuel. Because of their sugary composition, melons make a likely biofuel candidate.
The Crescent City Farmers Market is at Uptown Square on River Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, and at Magazine and Girod streets from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays. The Gretna Farmers Market is at Huey P. Long Avenue between Third and Fourth streets in Gretna from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. The Westwego Farmers & Fisheries Market is at 484 Sala Ave., Westwego, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.