Although I've never tried to grow a giant pumpkin, I'm always interested in the news about them. This year, a new world record was set by a 1689 pound (766kg) pumpkin in Massachusetts.
I've learned a number of things about giant pumpkins and the people who grow them this year:
- Growing a champion pumpkin is not an accident. People who grow giant pumpkins for competition are as obsessed as anyone you can imagine. They spend hours a day on their plants. It is nothing like growing peace lillies.
- I don't know what they call their pumpkins while they grow them, but afterwards they refer to them by their weight in pounds (e.g. "I didn't do anything different for the 1446").
- In an effort to get more entertainment value out of the pumpkins after the weigh-off, many communities now have pumpkin regattas in which the pumpkins are hollowed out and turned into boats. Most are propelled with kayak paddles, but some regattas also have a motorized class.
- The nearest giant pumpkin regatta appears to be in Pembroke and occurred two weeks ago.
- Although at least one grower has attempted to cross an Atlantic Giant Pumpkin with a Pink Banana Squash to grow a "sleeker" pumpkin. I have found no indication that anyone is working on a Zucchini Kayak.
- Want to start growing your own? Maybe you should join the Giant Vegetable Growers of Ontario
- Don't believe me that the growers are as obsessed as anyone? Read this: Alan Eaton and his 1446 lb World Record Pumpkin
- Want to buy seeds? Seeds: World Record - Special Selections 2007
- Information on the the Pembroke Race at Hugli's Farm
- A Channel Video: WeighOff the day before the Pembroke race
- Excellent Story and Video about the race in Windsor, Nova Scotia where the pumpkin regattas started: Wall Street Journal: Out of Their Gourds? Paddling Pumpkins On Lake Pesaquid
- Local coverage with video from the Windsor NS Regatta: Regatta 2007 a wild ride in Windsor!