People from all across the world come out to Knapp’s Farm Market in Rocky Ford, Colo. to get a taste of their famous melons. Owners Brian and Gail Knapp say folks are outside their door as early as 6 a.m.
“We grow the sweetest cantaloupes anywhere, this year is an exceptionally good year because of the dry hot temperatures that we’ve had this summer,” said Gail.
The Knapp family predicts this year’s harvest will produce at least half a million melons. But before they hit your plate, the famous melons go through a rigorous process.
By the time the sun is up, more than 35 workers will be out on the field, ready to pick out the melons.
“The guys are bent over half the time and just going at it as fast and as hard as they can,” said Brian.
With the help of a federal program called H-2A, the Knapp farm is able to hire temporary workers from other countries. It’s a backbreaking job, but the Knapp family says the federal program provides them with a reliable workforce.
“People think they can come out, weed and pick melons and that it’s easy but it’s hard,” said Gail Knapp.
The melons are then thoroughly rinsed, cleaned and inspected. Gail says the farm is constantly monitoring their produce and meeting all food safety requirements.
“We are doing everything possible to make sure they are safe to eat,” said Gail.
The farm has been part of the Knapp family for generations, they say it’s a job that constantly keeps on giving.
“When you have a good quality product and in high demand, it makes it so much easier,” said Brian Knapp. “It’s very rewarding.”