The start of the watermelon season increases sales in Ibiza by 55%.

Jul 4, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

Watermelon is, after potatoes, the main market garden crop in Ibiza.


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The island’s acting director of Rural and Marine Affairs, Joan Marí, together with watermelon producers have presented the season in Sant Miquel for this highly prized summer fruit, which is the most moisturising, as it contains 90% water. Watermelon is, after potatoes, the main market garden crop in Ibiza thanks to the strong demand during the summer and its renown and it is expected that this summer production will reach one thousand tonnes with around 40 hectares planted by the professional sector in Ibiza.

Marí explained that this year the start of the season has been characterised by difficulties in the setting of the flower due to the late rains that occurred during the month of May, which also slowed down the advance that the plants had experienced during a particularly hot and dry month of April. Nonetheless, the season has started on the usual dates “with excellent quality”, with sales figures at the end of June 55% higher and 40% more turnover compared to last year. Although a 10% drop in price was detected, this has now been compensated by the increase in sales “which leads us to believe that it will be a good year for Ibizan cherry growers”, Marí advanced.

The presentation took place at the Can Sastre estate, owned by Toni Planells, in Pla Roig de Sant Miquel, an irrigated farm and a great producer of watermelon, with 10 ha dedicated to this crop out of a total of 15 ha cultivated, together with onion and melon. He is lucky enough to have a neighbour in the Es Tap Nou livestock farm, which provides him with the manure from the herd of cows and thus provides the organic matter so necessary for the vegetable crops. Last year this same producer exported watermelon to Mercadona due to demand and it was very well received. This year, depending on how the island market behaves, they have already received purchase requests, which confirms the good quality of the product.

In Ibiza, watermelon has a well-deserved reputation for its sweetness and crunchy texture. This is due to the Ibiza producers’ commitment to taste quality and to maintaining the seeded varieties against the market trend towards seedless, small-sized watermelons, adjusted to the needs of today’s families. It is precisely the presence of seeds that facilitates the crunchy texture of the watermelon and the management of the crop, with harvesting at the optimum moment of ripening, makes it possible to offer a product of great sweetness. The season lasts until mid-September. The varieties sown are commercial varieties of grated watermelon with seeds that are not traditional varieties, although they have been cultivated for many years. For this reason, the Consell de Eivissa has promoted the labelling of watermelon from Eivissa under the Ibiza Sabores de Ibiza label, thus facilitating the identification of watermelon produced on the island in trade.

Watermelon is healthy, due to its high water content, making it the most hydrating fruit, ideal for summer, as well as being low in calories. Its high lycopene content, present in tomatoes, also gives it its characteristic red colour and is also an important antioxidant with cardiovascular benefits and helps prevent multiple cancers. Watermelon is also a tradition in Ibiza, and in addition to accompanying summer meals, it is an essential ingredient in the popular Merienda de Puig des Molins, on the 8th of August.

It is a crop that originally comes from the Sahel in Africa and which the Arabs introduced into the Mediterranean from the Pakistani region of Sind, which is why they called it sindiyya.