Melon mania has hit Newcastle in a fruitful bid to save food waste and get some tasty fruit into the bellies of locals.
A sale of freshly-picked watermelons was held at The Edwards bar and cafe on Wednesday.
Alan Parry, the “director of radness” at The Edwards, said the aim was to support local farmers and reduce food waste.
The melons came from Moore Farm Fresh Produce at Wollombi.
“We don’t grow seedless watermelons. We specifically try to grow seeded ones,” Natalie Moore said.
“We try and grow a smaller quantity and sell direct to the public. It’s cheaper than in the supermarket. Our watermelons are 80 cents to $1 a kilo. Supermarket watermelons are $2 to $2.50 a kilo.”
Ms Moore said many people had become accustomed to buying seedless, often tasteless watermelons from supermarkets.
“The seedless watermelon doesn’t have the flavour, texture or the colour that a watermelon should have,” she said.
Some of the watermelons became sunburnt in recent heat.
“But there’s nothing wrong with them,” she said.
“Because they’ve got a slight blemish, people think ‘I won’t buy that’.
“If you explain it’s just a blemish on the skin, they feel more comfortable about buying it.”
Selling the melons directly enabled her to meet customers and “educate them about real food”.
The melons sold at The Edwards on Wednesday were picked the previous night.
“You can’t get any better than that,” Your Food Collective co-founder Lauren Branson said.
Ms Moore said she picked 10 tonnes of watermelons in the paddock.
“I have really good biceps,” she said.
Ms Branson said Your Food Collective’s mission was to reduce food waste and provide food grown locally to local people.
“Often we hear from producers that it’s not viable to get their produce to market,” she said.
They end up ploughing these fruit and vegetables back into the earth.
“There are people who want to connect with local producers and who would be more than happy to eat that food,” she said.
Your Food Collective sought to help this happen.
“We want to get people connected to local food, so we don’t waste anymore and people are eating beautiful fresh stuff,” she said.
“We’re keen to try and move as many melons as we can.”
The watermelons, which range in size from six kilograms to 22 kilograms, will also be for sale at The Edwards on the next two Wednesdays or direct from Moore Farm at Wollombi.