What is a Decker Melon?

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Indiana melons

Photo credit: Angela Talley

What is a Decker melon? Only one of the sweetest, juiciest, heftiest, most sought-after melons in Indiana you can sink your teeth into on a hot summer afternoon. But Decker is not a variety of melon. The moniker refers to the town (population 249) – and its environs in southern Knox County, Indiana – where these highly reputed cantaloupes (technically, muskmelons) and watermelons are grown.

It’s a Decker art and tradition that spans more than 100 years. The area’s temperate climate and perfectly sandy soil, along with the knowledge, expertise and love that has been passed from generation to generation, turn out melons so good they taste like a cool bite of heaven.

Related story: Decker Melon Memories

15 Comments

  1. Ernest Wilson

    May 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

    These melons are the best in the world. I have eaten melons from all over the globe and these are outstanding. When will they be in and what stores will have them. I live in Mooresville and we have Miers-Marshes and Kroger & Walmart. I usually go through that area in July and stop at the roadside stands. Thanks.
    Ernie

    • Jessy Yancey

      June 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Hi Ernest,

      Melons may be ripening a little early this year due to the mild winter and warm spring we’ve had, but typically they ripen in July. I recommend stopping at a farmers market or roadside stand in the area to find Decker melons.

      Thanks,
      Jessy Yancey, editor
      My Indiana Home

  2. Sharon Minyard

    July 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Drove 50 miles in search of a decker melon. I found no roDSIDE STANDS OR GROCERIES IN THE AREA OF NABB. i CAME HOME MELONLESS and disappointed. Any suggestions?

    • Jessy Yancey

      July 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Hi Sharon,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you were unable to find any melons. Due to the drought conditions, many farms are experiencing delayed fruit production. In fact, the Decker area – Knox County in southwestern Indiana – is experience the worst drought in the state: http://www.btny.purdue.edu/pubs/vegcrop/VCH2012/VCH554.pdf

      Due to the weather, it may be a little early in the summer for melons to be plentiful. You can still probably find them at some farmers markets and at larger grocery stores. Just because they’re at the supermarket doesn’t mean they aren’t grown in Indiana – farms such as Frey Farms in Poseyville do sell them directly to Walmart and other big-name stores: http://magissues.farmprogress.com/OFM/OF01Jan11/ofm032.pdf

      Hope this helps, and sorry again to hear you haven’t been able to find any melons yet this summer!

      Best,
      Jessy Yancey
      editor, My Indiana Home

    • JC Harper

      August 22, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Harper’s Indiana Produce on Facebook
      We are a roadside stand located in Bloomfield, IN
      We carry melons especially cantaloupe in season from
      Southern Indiana including Daviess & Knox county melons 🙂
      Stop on by located next to Dairy Queen in Bloomfield, IN

  3. Jerry Burkman

    July 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    where can I buy on north side of Indianapolis?

    • Mike

      July 10, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Johnny’s produce stand on College Ave just north of Broad Ripple Ave has had them for a few days now. They are large and delicious as always!

  4. Tina Hunsinger

    July 17, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Feeling nostalgic today so looked up Decker. I grew up there and worked in those melon fields. Planted, hoed, turned them vines and picked those melons along with the watermelons. Wow what I wouldn’t give for just one of those melons today! Man it was so hot out in those fields. Used to work at Betty’s Cafe and Pug’s drug store too. The Butler sisters were out best friends, their folks owned the tavern. My step dad’s Father owned Daub’s live bait shop just outside of Decker, worked there too-hated that! Wonder what it looks like today. Used to borrow the pastor’s bike and ride the levee over to Hamilton to deposit my big paycheck in the bank, made .10 per hour and tried to save up for new school clothes every year. Patty Lane was my BEST FRIEND in Decker, wonder where she is today.

    Anyone want to reply please do.

    Tina

    • Brenda glasenspp

      June 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Tina. Do u remember me, Brenda Glasenapp. U were very kind in high school which is do rare. I still see Rockie and her daughter’s. How are u,? I’m on facebook

    • Brenda glasenspp

      June 25, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Patty passed away s few years ago

    • Rick

      July 2, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      I am a Hoosier from Jamestown for 65 years but now live in chicago. Hope my nephew in Evansville will meet me half way w a bushel of melons. We did drive through decker and saw old high school. Good times for you I’m sure. If I must I’ll drive to Knox county myself, mid July best time for decker melons ??
      Also hope to find in Indy. Rick

  5. Gayle Conway

    July 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    where can we find you

  6. douglas kaus

    June 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Does anyone know, about when the cantalopes are expected this year 2019? In Knox county.

  7. Sa

    July 13, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    I would love to find out harvesting times/availability as well

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