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“They were piled up outside, on sale,” my dad said, “so I knew they were good.”

I make my living advocating the use of fresh, local produce, and I’m the one who cooks when my family gathers at our cabin in Northern Minnesota. So there were several things about my dad hauling a dozen giant melons — honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelons — into the already chock-full galley kitchen out of which I was planning on feeding seven people, plus dinner guests, for the weekend that irked me.