Image: Roxiller.

Finding ways to indulge in the most iconic fruits of summer is work we are happy to do. These refreshing fruits are high in dietary fiber and full of essential nutrients. Here are some ways to help you eat as much as you can while they’re in season.


A crisp, sweet slice of watermelon has become synonymous with summer in the United States, but these delicious fruits likely originated from domesticated varieties in northeastern Africa around 2000 BCE. One of the first crops to be brought to North America, watermelons can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. We can expect to find these summer fruits at local markets in July through late autumn. Selecting a ripe watermelon may seem challenging, but once you know the basics you’ll be sure to grab the best fruit every time. Look for a yellowish spot in one area, which indicates that the fruit has been ripening by sitting in the dirt. Next, if you are seeking a ready-to-eat melon, you want to bring it to your nose and ensure that it smells fresh and slightly sweet.

Lastly, you can always give the watermelon a firm tap or knock—a juicy ripe melon should have a deep thud. There are many ways to enjoy watermelon throughout its peak season: the classic fresh slice, a delightful watermelon and feta salad, and even grilled for a smoky, caramelized side dish. One of my favorite ways to prepare watermelon is to turn it into a veganized version of poke.

Cantaloupe & Honeydew

Heat from the sun helps ripen summer melons to the perfect sweetness. One cup of melon contains a full daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a good amount of fiber and potassium. These highly seasonal treats can be enjoyed in both sweet and savory preparations, and even pickled if you’re looking for a way to preserve your cantaloupes. You can whip up a tantalizing cantaloupe salsa by dicing the melon into small pieces and mixing it with diced red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.

San Diego Grown

In the garden

San Diego Seed Company has adapted over a dozen varieties of organic and heirloom melons for local growers to plant. Petite Kajari originate from India and taste similar to honeydew but take up far less room to grow.


At the farmers’ market

Melons grown by Jacy Farm based in Anza are always a good bet, and the coveted yellow watermelon grown by Tom King Farms in Ramona is a must-have.



On the farm

Reach for the moon and stars at The Vegetable Shop at Chino Farm—the luscious red watermelon variety has dark green skin and bright yellow speckles that resemble a constellation.

» 6123 Calzada Del Bosque, Rancho Santa Fe

5 melon recipes perfect for summer

Honeydew Mint Sorbet

Sweet and Savory Melon Noodle Salad

Pickled Watermelon Rind

Watermelon Nachos

Watermelon Poke

Originally published in issue 74.

Cover illustration by Tim Topalov for Edible San Diego.
About the Contributor
Liz Murphy
‍Liz Murphy is a local plant-based chef and sustainability warrior. Find her new cookbook, Kitchen Contentment at or look for it at local San Diego shops.More sustainable gifts from the writer of The Sustainable Foodist: Guide to Giving Planet-Friendly GiftsSantosha Nutrition offers a plant-based cooking class with Chef Liz, a unique and fun gift for cooks of any level. Certificates include an interactive virtual or in-person cooking experience, with three recipes in a digital recipe packet with instructions. Find more info here.The cookbook Kitchen Contentment: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking with Plants contains over 50 vegan and gluten-free recipes. Chef Liz’s first cookbook is arranged by season to encourage support for local farmers and shops. The book is printed sustainably through a carbon-neutral process on recycled paper. Find yours here.