Cantaloupe is America’s most popular melon. It’s popular in Arizona too. And, we have another special story about growing cantaloupe in this desert state.

In Arizona, we rank second only to California in the production of cantaloupe. They’re a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Interesting Points About the Yummy Cantaloupe

  • Cantaloupe, not surprisingly, belongs to the same family as pumpkins, squashes, gourds, and other melons.
  • Many of the melons in the same family as cantaloupes are great at cross-pollinating which means there are many hybrid versions including Jenny Linds, Athena, and Ambrosia.
  • The country that produces the most cantaloupes in the world is China.  Running a distant second, third, fourth, and fifth are Turkey, Iran, Egypt, and the U.S.
  • If you ordered cantaloupe in Europe, your plate would be filled with a ribbed, grey-green skinned melon rather than the tan reticulated skinned melon you would be expecting.
  • Dried cantaloupe seeds are a popular snack in many other parts of the world.
  • As mentioned earlier, Arizona is second only to California in cantaloupe production here at home.

With 300+plus days of sunshine, Arizona has two growing seasons for cantaloupe. More than 23,000 acres of cantaloupes are produced in Arizona, mainly in the spring. But in the fall, approximately 9,800 acres of cantaloupe are harvested.

Arizona Farm Bureau has confirmed with Bashas’ Grocery Stores that they are identifying the growing source of their cantaloupe. If you cannot identify where the cantaloupe is from, ask your local grocery store’s produce manager for information.

Arizona families can expect fresh cantaloupe from Arizona for four to six weeks during the fall harvest. The spring season for 2022 has nearly ended but will be back on in 2023. And as always, look for Arizona-grown products in your local grocery store including fall Arizona melons.

The Two Seasons

  • Spring = January to May
  • Fall = July to November