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how popular were water melons in the 1880's?

seems to me like there would be more carrots and spinach and beans and stuff, but what do i know i wasnt around back then!
 

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Watermelons and chickens were the two most important things to have in the post-Reconstruction South. Those two single-handedly raised millions out of poverty. Up in the mountains, the sandy shoals, and the scrub land those two things will flourish when no other crop will.

Our farm was up in the mountains. Corn had to be planted three feet apart in the old days, that's the same distance as watermelon has to be placed apart. The latter is greater yield for value.

Butterbeans are the only bean that really thrives here ( and soy, but that came much later), and collards, mustard greens and even poke salat were more popular than spinach down here, despite Popeye's best efforts.

its hard for me to imagine watermelons being such a valuable resource, afterall they;re mostly water arent they?
 
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