July 16th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

Like I mentioned in an entry in June, the National Watermelon Promotion Board is celebrating National Watermelon Month with the 2014 Watermelon Carving Contest. The board is giving away $2,000 in prizes (including $500 to our grand prize “People’s Choice” winner) and the first 25 entrants will receive a Dexas watermelon cutting board.

The deadline for entries is August 4. Check out the contest kickoff blog entry or official contest web page for categories, entry requirements and more details. We’ve received lots of entries so far, but we’ve still got some of those watermelon cutting boards left, so get your entries in soon to get one of your own!

As inspiration for your carvings, I’ve decided to feature the four carvings I’ve done so far this year. Check ‘em out below and let me know which one is your favorite by leaving a comment. And don’t be a joker and say the golf ball is your favorite, because I already know that one is terrible.


The Watermelon Lego



The Watermelon Owl



The Watermelon Golf Ball


water finished

The Watermelon Vase

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July 14th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

picI went camping this past weekend, and the weather was actually pretty nice. A little warm – maybe even what you’d call “hot” – which is why I was glad my wife convinced me to pack an extra cooler full of drinks and watermelon. You didn’t think I’d go camping without watermelon, did you?

I fell in the creek while I was fishing, which helped me stay relatively cool (even if I looked decidedly uncool while I was flailing around in the water), but I could have used this week’s watermelon prize, too.

It’s a battery-powered, hand-held fan shaped like a little watermelon guy (available on The fan is perfect for a trip to the ballpark, campsite, or wherever you might need a little breeze to cool you down. Said one Amazon reviewer: “I was very surprised at how much air it puts out. […] I found it good enough to cool me down when I’m having a hot flash.”

I’ll give it away to one commenter chosen at random from all the comments left on the blog this month. Good luck…and, if you go fishing any time in the near future, don’t forget to wear a life jacket.


Don’t forget to enter your best watermelon carving in our 2014 Watermelon Carving Contest! The deadline for entries is August 4. There are $2,000 in prizes and the first 25 entrants will receive a Dexas watermelon cutting board. Check out the contest kickoff blog entry or official contest web page for categories, entry requirements and more details. 

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July 9th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

picSix months ago, as has become my annual tradition, I made a New Year’s resolution to tackle something on my watermelon bucket list. This year’s goal: to compete in a watermelon-eating contest. The 26-week process of completing this resolution has been fun, to say the least – from choosing a contest to compete in, to interviewing a professional competitive eater, to practicing at home in preparation for the big day.

The watermelon-eating contest I took part in was an annual tradition at the Bel Air 4th of July Festival in Bel Air, Maryland (about 90 minutes from where I live).

We arrived at the festival (my wife, daughter and I) about an hour before the 11:30 a.m. eating contest, just in time to catch the end of “The Great Bel Air Frog Jumping Contest” in Shamrock Park. True to its name, it featured frogs jumping, and it was probably the highlight of the day for our three-year-old. (The contest winner was a frog named Honey Boo Boo Child with a three-jump total of 102 inches!)

But I wasn’t there for the frog jumping contest in Shamrock Park; I was there for the watermelon-eating contest in Shamrock Park. After adding my name to the list of participants in the 17-and-older category, we took a stroll around the crowded and festive park to kill some time before my competitive eating showdown began.


Alright, I’m not going to bore you with a recap of my stroll around Shamrock Park – let’s get right to the contest. Each competitor was given a nice-sized wedge of watermelon with simple instructions that the first person to finish (eat it down to the white rind and have an empty mouth) would be declared the winner. (Above is a photo of the 7-10 year old competitors proudly displaying their watermelon wedges before the contest.)

After a countdown from 10 – which seemed like it took three full minutes – the eating had begun. About 17-and-older contestants were clustered together and the 20 of us created quite the symphony of chomping and slurping sounds. And almost as quickly as it had begun, the contest was over.

A gentleman from Forest Hill, Maryland was declared the winner, and boy did he ever do a good job of eating that wedge right down to the rind. I’m not 100 percent sure where I finished – probably fourth or fifth – which isn’t too bad. I’m happy with that performance. I had a lot of fun preparing for the contest and you can be sure that I’ll be back again next year to take another shot at the watermelon-eating title!

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July 7th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

First thing’s first: Yes, I competed in a watermelon-eating contest on Friday. Did I win? You’ll have to wait until Wednesday for my recap!

Second, I’m giving today’s entry the “Second Slice” treatment to help everyone with their carvings for this year’s Watermelon Carving Contest. Not that many of you NEED much help. I’ve seen some of the submissions so far, and they all look amazing. Keep ‘em coming!

picSome of you might have already started your watermelon carving for this year’s Watermelon Carving Contest. Others might still be trying to figure out which carving to create.

Either way, there’s still plenty of time left to submit your entry before the August 4 deadline for your shot at the $500 grand prize or one of the first, second and third place prizes in each category. And don’t forget, the first 50 entrants automatically receive a Dexas watermelon cutting board! (That’s mine under the hippo on the right.)

To help with the carving process, I’ve dusted off some tips originally posted here on the blog during last year’s contest.


Over the course of carving various watermelon animals, I’ve learned that one knife will not get the job done, especially on the more intricate creations. In many cases, even two knives aren’t enough. For most of my carvings, I’ve needed three knives: one long carving knife for the big cuts, one medium-sized steak knife for other tasks, and one small paring knife (or smaller if you’ve got one) for the detail work. Arm yourself with all three tools, and you’re well on your way to creating a winning carving in this year’s contest!


If there’s one thing I’ve learned while carving each of those designs, it’s the importance of being patient and taking your time. Carving a watermelon requires a little extra care and precision. It’s not like carving a pumpkin, which has a more rigid and forgiving surface. Not to mention that my watermelon carvings were much more intricate than any pumpkin carving I’d ever done (most of which were just three triangles and a jagged mouth).

So, take your time with your watermelon carving and think about each step and each cut before you make it. A good watermelon carving might take you an hour or two to create, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort.

Hopefully, these tips help you in your watermelon-carving process. Honestly, though, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process. Good luck with the watermelon carvings, and remember: Even if you’ve never carved a watermelon, you should still enter this year’s carving contest. Some of the best carvings in last year’s contest were from first-time carvers!

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July 5th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

I was thinking yesterday about Independence Day, and how it’s one of the only holidays that we, as Americans, observe with a celebration that actually fits the true meaning of the holiday. That celebration usually involves everything that we’ve come to know and love about the good ol’ US of A, including fireworks and barbeques piled high with a smorgasbord of sizzling meat.

We did both in my household (we’re actually heading out to see fireworks tonight). I even grilled up some watermelon for the burgers, which is a Fourth of July tradition of sorts.


Speaking of watermelon, our first National Watermelon Month prize is here and up for grabs! It’s the absolutely adorable little watermelon bag seen above. (My wife’s description, not mine.)

I bought it on Etsy, and the person who made it describes it as “a sweet little bag for your money, keys and credit cards.” The seller also listed the bag’s measurements as 17 centimeters wide and nine centimeters high. I’m not good with the metric system, so that could mean it’s four feet wide or maybe four inches wide. Either way, you can put your keys and credit cards in it. (NOTE: I just used a handy conversion calculator – it’s 6.7 inches wide by 3.5 inches high.)

I’ll choose one comment from all the comments left on the blog this month to win this “adorable” bag. To get things started, leave a comment with what you’d put in this bag if you won it!

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July 3rd, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy


I don’t know what the watermelon display at your local grocery store looks like, but I’ll bet it doesn’t look nearly as awesome as the display above (from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL). The watermelon spread in my local supermarket is pretty standard – just a cardboard bin full of watermelon.

The image above was submitted in past years in the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s annual Retailer Display Contest. The contest challenges retailers to create their most eye-catching watermelon displays and awards almost $4,000 in prizes to winners chosen in each region of the United States. (Details and a full set of rules can be found on the contest web page.)

Below are just a few of the cool creations cooked up by produce managers in stores across the nation over the past few years. Pretty awesome, right?

I don’t necessarily NEED a lavish display, but if I walked into a store and was greeted with an image like any of the ones below, I’d probably fill my entire cart with watermelon and forget everything else on my shopping list!





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July 2nd, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy


It seems like just yesterday I was raking leaves and shoveling snow. And then I flip the page on my calendar, and it’s July. (And by “calendar,” I’m referring to the one on my smartphone.) Now I’m planning our annual camping trip and a visit to the local amusement park.

Not that I’m complaining. Far from it. By now, you all know that I’m a “summer person,” mainly because I’m an “outdoor person” and also because summer is unofficially “watermelon season.” July – for me, at least – is the centerpiece of summer, and it’s also National Watermelon Month. A whole month dedicated to the celebration of America’s favorite fruit? Count me in!

But let’s not forget the other foods being honored with a month-long party in July. It’s also National Baked Bean Month, and if you can’t have a backyard barbeque without watermelon, you certainly can’t forget the baked beans.

It’s National Hot Dog Month and National Grilling Month, too. Are you sensing a trend here? I am, and it’s delicious. And let’s not forget that July is also National Ice Cream Month. Oh yes, it’s becoming very easy to see why July is my favorite month of the year.

Despite the many excuses to gain 15 pounds this month, the focus on this blog, of course, will be on watermelon. To help with the tribute, I’ll be giving away a watermelon-themed prize each Friday this month. I might be spoiling the surprise, but the prizes will include a watermelon bag (this Friday), watermelon earrings, a battery-powered watermelon fan, and a prize that promises to be the highlight of your next barbeque with friends.

Stay tuned…it’s going to be a delicious 31 days!

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June 30th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

My carvings in the past have ranged from the very simple to the somewhat challenging. This month’s attempt is somewhere near the simple end of the scale. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s probably my easiest carving to date. And, while it may be a cinch to create, it’s also arguably my most attractive creation.

Seriously—all you really need to do to make a watermelon vase is lop off the top and stick some flowers inside. You don’t even need to remove the watermelon flesh! As simple as that may seem, I’ll still walk you through the process with a few photos.

water start

As always, start with one clean watermelon. You can create your vase with a watermelon of any size (it depends upon how many flowers you plan to put in it). I used a medium-sized watermelon for mine.

water cut

Cut a tiny part off of the bottom to create a flat base for your vase to sit on. You can see the tiny sliver I cut off in the photo above. Also cut off the top of the watermelon and scoop out the insides. Don’t worry, I made my top a little straighter after I took this photo.

water finished

After you’ve scooped out the flesh inside your watermelon (put that aside for eating later!), simply fill your vase with flowers and water, and you’re done! See? I told you this one was simple!

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June 27th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

picYou can’t spell “watermelon” without “water.” You can’t create a watermelon without water, either. At 92 percent water, watermelon boasts a refreshingly high water content, and it’s also rich in vitamins and antioxidants, making it a natural power drink.

From daily adequate intake to replenishing the body after a workout, Americans’ hydration needs call for more water—and more watermelon.

To get a better understanding of those hydration needs, the National Watermelon Promotion Board commissioned a survey to find out how important hydration is and how much Americans know about hydration. Armed with that insight, the National Watermelon Promotion Board is also able to determine how watermelon fits into those hydration goals.

The survey was conducted earlier this year, and the results are in.

Nearly nine out of 10 Americans believe they have to drink something to stay hydrated, according to an online survey conducted in May among 2,050 U.S. adults by Harris Poll, and commissioned by National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB). Yet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 44 percent of adults drink fewer than four cups of water per day and, in some cases, no water at all.

“Every system in your body – from reproduction and digestion to circulation, mood and memory – depends on water,” says Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., and author of several nutrition and wellness books. “Consequently, water helps ward off fatigue, a common health complaint in the United States.”

In fact, three in five Americans (62 percent) agree they don’t have enough energy on days when they don’t hydrate enough. One-third (34 percent) of Americans say they don’t drink a lot of water, as they prefer something with flavor instead – and those numbers are higher (41 percent) among Millennials.

The National Watermelon Promotion Board is on a mission to help hydrate Americans, reminding them that they can eat their hydration, too. That edible hydration, of course, can come from watermelon. Two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) agree that, of all produce, watermelon is the one they would choose to eat to help them hydrate.

Check out the handy infographic below for more information about the importance of hydration and how watermelon can help!


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June 26th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

picNothing says summer like outdoor parties. That includes good food, good music, good friends and, of course, good drinks.

I like all four (usually with an emphasis on good food), but, during a cookout last week, I decided to pay a little extra attention to the good drinks. So, I grabbed some of the Bolthouse Farms Watermelon Mint Lemonade that I mentioned in an entry earlier this month, did a quick recipe research online and whipped up the cocktail recipe you see below.

How was it? Let’s just say, the “good drinks” were the highlight of that gathering.

Leave a comment with your thoughts on the “good foods, good music, good friends and good drinks” summer party checklist. Which do you value most? A reminder: One comment from all the comments left on the blog this month will win two bottles of Bolthouse Farms Watermelon Mint Lemonade!

Watermelon Mint Lemonade Cocktail



2 cups Bolthouse Farms Watermelon Mint Lemonade

2 cups Vodka or rum (or water for a non-alcoholic version)

2 tablespoons Sugar

¼ Fresh lime juice

¼ cup Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

5 or 6 Fresh lemon slices (optional)


Combine all of the above ingredients in a large pitcher. Chill and serve!

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