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Holy Watermelon! Ridgewood's HealthBarn Grows Its First

Ridgewood HealthBarn's Stacey Antine and camper Russ Romond of Wyckoff with the garden's first ever watermelon.
Ridgewood HealthBarn's Stacey Antine and camper Russ Romond of Wyckoff with the garden's first ever watermelon. Photo Credit: Stacey Antine

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — After 11 years of trying to grow a watermelon at Abma's Farm in Wyckoff, HealthBarn's gardeners finally had some luck at the new Ridgewood location.

Officials broke ground in May at the Irene Habernickel Family Park between the white barn and playscape and planted watermelon seedlings — among dozens of others — not knowing what to expect

"Our guess was that given the history of the property being a horse farm, the soil rich in horse manure should be good for growing an edible garden," founder Stacey Antine told Daily Voice.

"Our guess was right when Rutger's Cooperative sent back the nutritional analysis and gave us the thumbs up to get planting."

Almost three months after planting the seeds, HealthBarn summer camper Russ Romond of Wyckoff discovered the organization's first ever watermelon sitting in the garden this week.

HealthBarn has concocted a special recipe loaded with vitamins A and C that the watermelon would be just perfect for: Hydration Salad (makes 8 servings).

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium honeydew melon, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ medium, watermelon peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ small seedless cucumber, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  • In large bowl, combine melons and cucumber. Add lime juice and salt and toss to mix well.
  • Serve in bowls or large cups to go.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 40 calories; 0.5g fat, 0mg cholesterol; 25g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 20g sugar); 2g protein; 40mg sodium; 60% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 60% DV vitamin C; 2% calcium; 6% DV iron.

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