In the spring Beggs Melon Company gets the land ready for the planting season. Seedless varieties are Sugarheart and Majestic. Starbrite is the one seeded variety grown. We plant approximately 130 acres of melons, which will is approximately 100 semi-truck loads of melons. Semi-trucks can carry anywhere from 40-45 thousand pounds. We sell mainly to brokers but also sell to peddlers and individuals. Our melons are shipped to different states such as Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas and Michigan; very few stay in this area.We start planting by seed in early April. Planting is done at various times throughout mid-April to early May to spread the harvest time out over a longer period. With good warm weather, plants should emerge over a 7-10 day period.
After the melons are up and growing, we remove unwanted weeds by manually hoeing and cultivating the melons several times. Once the melon plant begins to put out its runners (long vines that grow from the center part of the plant), it is time to cultivate for the last time. We also apply chemicals to keep down weeds until harvest time.
The plants begin to sprout blooms. Once the bees pollinate the plants the fruit sets on. Once the fruit sets it takes about 30 days until harvest.
Bugs and diseases are a constant problem, so fields are monitored weekly. If needed chemicals are sprayed to help control the problem.
At harvest time we hire migrant workers to pick the crop. They walk through the field selecting only the melons ready for market. They hand toss the melons onto wagons right in the field. The wagons are then brought to the loading dock for shipment. The buyer chooses how he wants them shipped whether it is bulk (on the truck floor) or bin (placed in sturdy cardboard boxes). When the truck arrives, the melons are handled once again by the crew during loading. Our melons are sent throughout the Mid-West to be enjoyed by many.