• 63°

Valley’s Free Watermelon Day brings in big crowd

VALLEY — Walter Pulliam has been farming for most of his life and has grown lots of watermelons over the years but never has he had a crop like he’s had this year.

“In most years I may have one or two that’s in the 70-pound range,” he said. “This year I’ve had 200. They’re the biggest ones I’ve ever had.”

He’s had Jubilees this year, and they are of monster size. He had a trailer load of them at Friday’s Free Watermelon Day at the Valley Farmers’ Market. A few of them were sliced and given away as part of the Free Watermelon Day promotion. Most of the huge ones on the trailer had been sold within an hour-and-a-half of Friday’s session of the Farmers’ Market.

“I have different varieties every year,” Pulliam told The Valley Times-News. “One year I’ll have Jubilees, the next Crimson Sweets and another year I will have Dixie Queen yellow meats. Those Dixie Queens are the best I’ve ever tasted.”

In addition to watermelons, Pulliam grows a little bit of everything during the summer months – tomatoes, squash, okra. peas, rattlesnake beans and so on.

This time of year he’s planning for a fall garden.

“I’ll be setting out 10,000 collard plants tomorrow and next week I’ll be planting turnip greens,” he said. “I really love to farm. I’m working it throughout the year.”

Like Pulliam, Matthew Steele of Steele Produce, Shorter, Ala. had plenty of watermelons on      Friday. His dad, the late Thomas P. Steele, got him hooked on farming at an early age, and he’s done it his entire adult life.

“I like to grow everything,” he said. “I’m working on my fall garden now.”

Ora Finley of Camp Hill has had a good yield of produce this year as well. He had some watermelons for sale along with a good variety of fresh-picked produce.

Cutting slices of watermelon for the attendees were Police Chief Tommy Weldon, Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount and Laurinda Siggers of the Valley Community Center staff.

The monster melons were hard to cut through, but once the knife got to that bright red interior, it was soft, sweet and delicious.

“They may be big, but they are really sweet,” Blount said.

News

Sock Hops returning to Troup High School on Feb. 23

News

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer

News

Fuller Center talks 2019 projects

News

Shelby, Jones vote for funding package

News

Kia celebrates start of production for 2020 Telluride

News

Roanoke woman celebrates her 100th birthday

News

West Point woman charged after alleged accidental shooting

News

Unbreakable bond, Daniel and Otos have a strong bond on and off duty

News

Debris at West Point Lake affecting tourism

News

Six arrested after drug raid in Valley

News

Election sees high voter turnout in LaFayette

News

Alabama bicentennial exhibit opens at library

News

Students honored for poster contest

News

Reid recognized for service in community

News

Labor union accuses Ferguson of displaying racist book in office

News

The Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce’s Junior Ambassador Committee helped spread some holiday cheer earlier this week when it passed out Valentine’s Day cards at area nursing homes. The junior ambassador committee is made up of ninth graders through twelfth graders from area high schools. Carrie Royster, marketing and events manager for the chamber, said about 45 students participate in the junior ambassadors. Local elementary school students made the Valentine’s Day cards and the junior ambassador committee took them to the assisted living and nursing homes in the area. Valentine’s Day cards were taken to LaFayette Nursing Home, LaFayette Extended Care, G.H. Lanier Nursing Home, Diversicare, Sylvia Word Manor, Lakewood Senior Living and Valley Park Manor. “I think the importance is having our youth go into the nursing homes,” Royster said. “A lot of times our youth doesn’t get that experience, and the nursing home residents absolutely love having the kids come in and getting to communicate with them.”

News

No outright winner in District B election in LaFayette

News

West Point approves lending library

News

CenterBank changes sign after merger

News

Council candidates speak in Valley

News

Baptist Women’s Group hosts monthly meeting

News

Long serving K9 for Troup County Sheriff’s Office passes away

News

State anniversary exhibit in Chambers County this month

News

Newt’s is back in business