BLOUNT COUNTY - Five generations of an East Tennessee farming family are going strong, and their crop is bigger than ever before.
They're selling 30, 40 and sometimes 50-pound or larger watermelons in Walland.
Bill Franklin learned how to grow watermelons from his father, and has passed the skill on to his sons.
Now, he's enjoying his best crop in years.
"They're really selling good," Franklin said.
It's been a sweet summer.
"You know it just amazes them though because they get a home grown watermelon," said Franklin.
His farm at 2556 Ellejoy Road in Walland has watermelons lined up, ready for eating.
He swears the melons taste better than they do anywhere else.
"I have a little secret I take care of them with and it makes them sweeter," said Franklin, with a laugh. "I can't tell you that secret though, because if I do, I'd out of business."
He's never sold a watermelon before for $10 dollars, and now, he does just because they're so big.
Bill's father, Henry Franklin, passed the skill down.
"He's the one that broke me in on watermelons, when I was about 10 or 12 years old," said Franklin.
It's become a family tradition.
"Five generations, raising these watermelons," said Franklin. "Started out with my dad, two sons. Me, of course, I'm in there somewhere. And my great-grandsons, they've been helping."
Helping him for sure - a post on Facebook sent business way up.
"No, I don't even have a cell phone," said Franklin. "You know he put that on Facebook and I've been out here for days and they worked me to death."
Making the family business, and family tradition, a little sweeter.
"I'm going to have to put a whole load of rock on my driveway when this is over," said Franklin. "But it'll be worth it."
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