Friday, October 26, 2007

Giant Pumpkin Race

Lake Pesaquid pumpkin paddlers

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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").
  3. 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.
  4. The nearest giant pumpkin regatta appears to be in Pembroke and occurred two weeks ago.
  5. 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.


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