The first open air watermelons are expected to come to market on May 20, once again courtesy of the farmers of Trifilia, a Peloponnese village where each year the fruit always seems to ripen ahead of the competition.
Weather conditions are often an obstacle to the crop. This year most of the problems were caused by the frequent rainfalls, which happened during the period watermelons were out of their plastic covering, and the strong winds, which blew in the area for a couple of days.
Although watermelons were hard to grow due to these difficulties, Trifilia farmers will nevertheless market their first harvest on May 20.
A total of 6,000-8,000 acres are devoted to watermelon cultivation, yielding 40 tons. Watermelon is one of the most important crops in Trifilia due to its high volume of exports. Since consumption also correlates with weather conditions, producers are hoping temperatures in Central and North Europe will be relatively high in May.
Watermelons are expensive to cultivate and the earlier they grow, the higher their price gets. Last year early watermelons cost 0.50 euros/kilo, before the price dropped to 0.10 euros per kilo as supply caught up with demand.