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Giant Florida watermelon makes a comeback thanks to Lakeland grower, Tampa chef

Florida Favorite watermelon

The Florida Favorite, once Florida's official watermelon, largely disappeared around World War I when it fell out of favor due to not being pest-hardy enough. But with the help of local bees, Lakeland Farmer Will Crum, 33, has rehybridized it by cross-pollinating the Georgia Rattlesnake and Bradford watermelons.

Tampa Chef Greg Baker and wife-business partner Michelle Baker plan to serve The Florida Favorite at their Seminole Heights restaurant Fodder and Shine starting this summer.

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