Rocky Ford melon season draws to a close with pumpkins!

RFGA member farms overcame wet, wild weather to sell out cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew

Friday, September 29, 2017 — The Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Watermelon season is almost in the books-- and it was a big one! Rocky Ford Cantaloupe and Honeydew melons sold out again, while Rocky Ford Watermelon will be available for just another week or so. The season isn't quite done: look for Rocky Ford pumpkins for your Halloween jack 'o lanterns and Thanksgiving pumpkin pies!

Despite a challenging season that saw a lot of rain and hail, Rocky Ford farmers delivered more than:

  • 160,000 cartons of cantaloupe
  • 20,000 cartons of honeydew
  • 10,000 bins of large watermelons
  • 45,000 cartons of personal watermelons

Rocky Ford Growers Association is a group of member farms that work together to produce, pack and ship all those amazing melons we are lucky enough to see in our grocery stores and farmers' markets each summer. Many RFGA members also grow the wonderful pumpkins you see in the groceries and markets right now as well.

"We heard from so many people this season who enjoyed the melons we grow," said RFGA President and Hirakata Farms co-owner Michael Hirakata. "The support from our customers really helps keep us going when we face long days and tough conditions in the fields."

If you're looking for a way to get your Rocky Ford fix just a little longer this season, RFGA member farm and packer Hirakata Farms has teamed up with Banded Oak Brewing in Denver to create a Crenshaw Melon IPA. The Crenshaw is a sort of cousin to the cantaloupe, with a sweet taste and a bit of spice. The very limited release is on tap at Banded Oak Brewing in Denver. Specially-labeled bottles are available starting Saturday and during a bottle release party to celebrate the end of the 2017 season. 

What: Banded Oak's Hirakata Farms Crenshaw Melon IPA bottle release and end-of- season party, featuring a live band and local favorite food truck El Gallo Blanco

When: 6pm September 30th

Where: Banded Oak Brewing Company, 470 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

 

Pumpkin harvesting crews blow off steam with pumpkin box-building races at RFGA member farm Proctor Produce

Rocky Ford Cantaloupe in the packing shed during the 2017 season
RFGA watermelons wait to be collected from the fields during the 2017 season
Rocky Ford Cantaloupes move through the Hirakata Farms packing shed as they're processed for shipping
A tractor waits out a rain storm and muddy field during the 2017 season.
Banded Oak's Hirakata Farms Crenshaw Melon IPA
Pint of Banded Oak's Hirakata Farms Crenshaw Melon IPA