Make Your Own Watermelon Syrup

Learn how to make your own watermelon syrup, its easy to make, economical and a natural fruit sweetner you can use for pancakes instead of artificial or expensive syrups.

| July/August 1977

Learn how to make your own watermelon syrup using your homegrown watermelons from the garden.

Believe it or not, the least known of nature's nutritious sweeteners may well be the best (tastiest, easiest to make, most economical) of them all! Read on, as Charles Franklin Jenkins of New Riegel, Ohio explains how to make your own watermelon syrup.

Most of MOTHER's readers know that honey,molasses, and maple syrup are three mighty good alternatives to the likes of cyclamates, saccharine, and white sugar. But I'll bet only a relative handful of you have discovered that there's yet another "organic" substitute for super-processed sweeteners . . . and that you can easily make your own, right now at home, from (are you ready for this?) common garden-variety watermelons!

Yep. As novel as the idea may seem, folks have been dabbling with the production of an ambrosial sweetener from America's favorite summertime fruit for over a hundred years. The United States Commissioner of Agriculture's Report for 1876 states that one group of California farmers and promoters actually formed a corporation (the California Sugar Manufacturing Company) for that purpose. And the company — after conducting extensive preliminary experiments which showed that the plan was indeed feasible — set up a factory complete with imported German machinery at Isleton, in the Sacramento/San Joaquin River delta region.

Over the next twenty or thirty years, a goodly number of other entrepreneurs and researchers from sections of the country as widely scattered as Oklahoma, Virginia, and Nebraska also tried to make a go of similar schemes. Unfortunately, all such efforts were doomed to eventual failure, thanks to the sheer economic clout of the conventional cane-sugar industry.

But that's not to say that you can't make your own natural sweetener from watermelons . . . because you can! Compared to gathering honey or boiling down maple syrup (both of which involve a considerable investment in time and money), the process is a breeze! Here's all there is to it:

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