Growing up, I was lucky to have a father who worked in Imperial Valley’s diversified produce business. This meant my family was constantly surprised with boxes of fresh, local produce he would bring home. I’d always love hearing his stories of how and where a particular crop was grown, where the produce was being sold and any challenges they might have faced that season. It was especially fun when we’d spend a day driving around to see different fields throughout their stages, from field preparation to planting to harvesting.
While I grew up loving to eat anything and everything my dad brought home, the summer months were especially exciting to me because I knew it was melon season. Every week, he would bring home watermelon, honeydew and, my favorite, cantaloupe! It wouldn’t take long for my three sisters and me to eat it all. In all honesty, it was pretty normal for me to eat about a quarter of the melon just while my dad was cutting it up.