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Smooth melons a lesser-known alternative to netted melons

The harvesting and commercialization of smooth melons grown in polytunnels from Demetra Gold in Licata (AG) started last week. Transplants of canary-yellow melons (polytunnels) and mini-watermelons (greenhouses) also started. "We have not cultivated netted melons this year as we are trying to set ourselves apart," explains Giuseppe Schembri.

"After around three years of tests on smooth melon varieties, we chose one that does not need grafting. Plants are tolerant to disease and therefore there is almost no need to use crop protection products. Fruits reach large grades and are round, with a perfectly smooth rind, bright pearly color and a large stalk. The flesh is orange, with a small placenta and light-orange seeds. The rind is generally thin and Brix level is not below 15."

Tests showed plants are particularly suitable to the atmospheric conditions and clayey soil of Sicily. The relative proximity to the sea, daytime/night-time temperature range and the constant ventilation create an ideal habitat. 

"We staggered transplants so the produce can be available at least until June-July and with more manageable quantities without creating gaps. We aim at producing certified produce that undergoes all due analyses and that encourages clients to also try our other products."

Giuseppe also stressed how important it is to promote Italian products: "while being globalized is a good thing, we do not need to put local productions in difficulty."

Considering the climate and pandemic (Covid-19 emergency) factors and the fact that it is an early stage for melons, demand is not high yet and the produce is shipped where the fruit is promoted most.

"It must be stressed that smooth melons are less known and are appreciated more in northern Italy. We are have a few clients in Belgium, France and Germany where the first batches are about to arrive."

"We are a young company that has been growing every year. We are always looking for new collaborations for the success of both parties," concludes Giuseppe. 

Demetra Gold Srl Soc. Agricola Unipersonale
C.da Desusino
93011 Butera (CL)
Tel.: +39 0934 349061
Fax: +39 0934 1905495
Cell.: +39 393 2083306 / +39 331 2969940

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