SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. — Dozens of retired school buses here have been converted to transport watermelons to help growers bring the crop from field to market while it’s at its peak, DelmarvaNow reports.

The buses, about 40 feet in length, have had the seats and side windows removed to make it easier for farm workers to load the fruit while in the field and unload it at the dock, according to the news source. Some farmers also cut off most of the top of the buses for even easier access, and have installed carpeting to minimize damage to the watermelons, DelmarvaNow reports. Farmers spend about $2,000 on the recycled vehicles.

After watermelon harvesting season ends in the fall, the buses are parked on the farm until the season starts again the following summer, unless the farmers enter them in a Memorial Day parade, the news source reports. On farm tours, teachers often want to see the buses, Delaware Agriculture Secretary Edward Kee told the news source.

While it is unclear who came up with the idea to use school buses to transport the crop, “they are almost ideal for the job,” Kee told DelmarvaNow.

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