|Bradford Watermelon, an 1840's heirloom watermelon|
|Nat Bradford cutting a Bradford Okra Pod|
|Bradford Watermelon cut open in the field|
Scientists have taken notice of watermelon's high lycopene levels — about 15 to 20 milligrams per 2-cup serving, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board — some of the highest levels of any type of fresh produce. Lycopene is a phytonutrient, which is a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables that reacts with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. It is also the red pigment that gives watermelons, tomatoes, red grapefruits and guavas their color.
|Nat Bradford cutting the Bradford Watermelon|
And here is a little bit about our host for the afternoon, who was a wealth of information and knowledge he generously shared. You can just listen to him and hear the passion he has about his family farm and their wonderful Bradford Watermelon.
And to give you an idea of how SWEET this watermelon is, its 'brix' measurement is 12.5. Brix is a widely used sweetness rating, and most melons hover around 10, which is already considered very sweet
"Nat Bradford is a father of five, farmer, and landscape architect in Seneca, South Carolina. He founded Eco Art, LLC in 2000 upon the principles of creativity and stewardship to nurture holistic sustainable landscape architecture. As a farmer he maintains the breedline of their 170 year old family heirloom, the Bradford watermelon.
So on yet another another drizzly, cloudy day, a few friends and fellow farm trip enthusiasts, headed out to the farm. Our route had a detour we were unaware of, so a quick message off to Nat Bradford got us pointed in the right direction. Soon we arrived at the end of a long dirt road, where he was waving to us to show us where to go. We parked the car, and with some quick introductions all around, we walked into the family garden area and fields to talk about some of the other heirloom plants all organically grown, on this family farm in Sumter, South Carolina.
A bit later we wandered up to the house and enjoyed a spread of deliciousness on the front porch, prepared for us by Nat's wife, Bette. Talk about Southern Hospitality! Ciabatta bread slices, crackers, thinly sliced prosciutto, a variety of cheeses, and sweet Bradford Watermelon, Watermelon Rind Pickles and Watermelon Molasses. Oh my goodness, delicious. We enjoyed every single nibble and bite as we made our way around this lavish spread, all the while chatting about how wonderful it all was.
After a few hours, and a lot of delicious Bradford Watermelon treats, it was time for us to be on our way. While some purchased watermelon molasses and watermelon rind pickles, it was a real treat to receive a Bradford Watermelon to take home and make some fun recipes with. I was excited about the prospects and couldn't wait to get started.
For more about Bradford Watermelons:
Watch the Bradford Watermelon Story
Check out their Website
Like them on Facebook
Follow them on Instagram
And then I made Bradford Watermelon Lemon Pepper Mint Jelly! Grab the recipe!
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