If you live or are traveling south of the Mason-Dixon Line, specifically in Georgia, this is the time of the year you look forward to all year long. It’s peach season. Watermelons, too. Not to mention, the first pecan crops are coming in, too.
Roadside stands are out on all the highways and byways of the state. But one of the best, with a following far beyond its neighborhood, is Mark’s Melon Patch, a small, tin-roofed little stand located in the heart of peanut and pecan country on Hwy 82 in Southwest Georgia between Dawson and Albany, just outside of Sasser, Georgia (Pop. 380).
Mark Daniel started selling the watermelons he grew himself out of the pack of a pickup truck some 30 years ago. Now his roadside stand has blossomed into a year-round family business. He still grows his own produce on 70 acres of flat Georgia farmland and his stand now sells peanuts, pecans, gourds, pumpkins, cantaloupes, sweet corn, tomatoes, plums and scuppernongs.
Scuppernongs? It’s a unique grape, grown only in the south, known for its large round shape and its green or bronze color. Alas, it’s not scuppernong season.
But it sure is watermelon time. August finds the melons at their sweetest and juiciest and whether seeded, seedless or those little round sweet bush melons, Mark’s watermelons are so good that that folks from all around are willing to drive miles to get it.
We visit Mark’s Melon Patch every time we are down this way. We pick up whatever is in season, and I usually get a cup of boiled peanuts (another southern delicacy) to take with me.
Wherever you are as you RV across the country, look for a roadside produce stand. Not only are you supporting small business owners and local farmers, you can be sure you are getting the freshest fruit and veggies available. And fresh always beats what you’ll find in big box supermarkets.
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