Ice-cold watermelon is a warm weather treat. Florida is one of the nation's leading producers of watermelons, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. They are grown throughout the state and are available from April through July and in November and December. Today at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish, check out some new recipes for working this sweet treat into your menus as well as a few carving projects to upgrade party presentations. In the meantime, let's dish:
New you-pick option: Long & Scott Farms, on the Lake-Orange county line, is now open 8 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays for shoppers who like to select their own produce from the vine.
"Customers have been asking for this option for a while," says company president Hank Scott. "We decided to give it a try and we will still maintain our farm market with local fruits and vegetables."
Before heading out, foodies should call 352-383-1792 to check on you-pick availability. Depending on what is ripe for picking, customers can expect tomatoes, purple green beans and conch peas.
Scott's Country Market is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The address is 26216 County Road 448A in Mount Dora. Look for the farm at the southeast corner of County Road 448A and Jones/Duda Road. In addition to produce, the market sells local eggs, jams, jellies, relishes and syrups.
New farmers market. The St. Cloud Local Farmer's Market is now open 4-7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Diamond P Ranch, 5700 E. Irlo Bronson Highway.
Offerings include sweet onions, zucchini, summer squash, okra, vine-ripened tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, grass-fed beef by the cut, whole wheat bread, orange blossom honey, fresh flowers and fruit trees.
The ranch is across from the Osceola County Serpentarium. For market details call 407-900-9335 or check out its Facebook page.
The website osceolacountygrown.com has more information about other Osceola County farms.
Grape expectations. Lakeridge Winery's flagship event, the 23rd Annual Harvest Festival, is June 21-23 and will include grape stomping, wine tastings, winery tours and entertainment. Lakeridge is at 19239 U.S. Highway 27 in Clermont. For details call 352-394-8627 or check out lakeridgewinery.com.
Top pie performers advance. Amy Freeze and Andrea Spring, winners of the APC Crisco National Pie Championships Amateur and Professional divisions held recently in Orlando, will compete at the second annual World Food Championships Nov. 7-10 in Las Vegas. For more information on the contest, go to worldfoodchampionships.com.
What's in season. In the produce bins, look for Florida avocado, blackberries, cantaloupe, eggplant, lychees, mango, mushrooms, papaya, oranges, passion fruit, peanuts, potatoes, sweet corn and watermelon.
At the seafood counter, Florida finds include alligator, blue crab, clams, flounder, grouper, king mackerel, mahi mahi, oysters, snapper, shrimp, tilapia, tilefish and yellow-fin tuna.
Heather McPherson can be reached at 407-420-5498, Twitter@OS_thedish and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow daily food news at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish.
Get the dish
Check out the Morning Mix with Scott McKenzie recipe of the week, Chicken with Rosemary, Red Bell Peppers & Olives, at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish.