How Is Your Garden Coming Along?

spaminator

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Oct 26, 2009
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B.C. man takes one-tonne pumpkin on road trip to win California weigh-off
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Published Oct 03, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read
Seventy-eight-old British Columbian Dave Chan his wife Janet Love, shown in this handout image, took his 2,212-pound “mama” pumpkin for a road trip to Wheatland in California and now he has won $28,000 for the National Pumpkin weigh-off competition.
Seventy-eight-old British Columbian Dave Chan his wife Janet Love, shown in this handout image, took his 2,212-pound “mama” pumpkin for a road trip to Wheatland in California and now he has won $28,000 for the National Pumpkin weigh-off competition. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER — An enormous pumpkin nicknamed “Mama” grown in a Richmond, B.C., backyard has won first place in one of North America’s most prestigious pumpkin contests, weighing in at more than a tonne.


Grower Dave Chan, 78, said “a lot of good science” went into his victory on Saturday in the National Pumpkin Weigh Off in Wheatland, Calif., where “Mama” tipped the scales at 1,003 kilograms, or 2,212 pounds.


It’s the first time a Canadian pumpkin has won the weigh-off, said Brian Myers, chairman of the California Pumpkin Growers’ Club.

Chan, a retired dentist, said the secret to growing a gargantuan gourd begins with good genetics.

After doing some research, he obtained Mama’s seed from a friend in Michigan. The seed came from a 990-kilogram pumpkin.

Chan and his wife Janet Love sent soil samples from their pumpkin patch to a laboratory to calculate the extra nutrients Mama needed, including calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Chan said they uploaded the data into a spreadsheet to perfect their fertilizer.


“We don’t just throw on a whole bunch of fertilizer. We’re calculating exactly how much calcium, how much nitrogen … about 15 different elements to make plants grow really well. Pumpkin growing is half the study of soil science,” said Chan.

The next challenge was getting the pumpkin to Wheatland in one piece. They loaded Mama and another giant pumpkin onto a trailer and drove more than 1,300 kilometres to attend the weigh-in, which organizers say has been held since 1921.

“There are so many things that can happen to a pumpkin. They can crack and go rotten … so just to get to the weigh-off is quite an accomplishment and I feel very lucky,” said Chan.

Chan, who’s been growing giant pumpkins for more than 40 years, won $28,000 — that’s US$9 per pound — as well as a flashy championship belt, worthy of a heavyweight champion.


Chan said he and Love will use the money for a trip to Italy, where they plan to meet the grower of the world’s heaviest pumpkin, which weighed in at 1,226 kilograms in 2021.

Meanwhile, they’ll continue their U.S. road trip with Mama and her smaller trailer mate, which weighs about 725 kilograms, and will take part in another competition this month at Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.

After her road trip, Mama will be displayed on Chan and Love’s Richmond driveway until after Halloween.

Then Chan said they would extract the pumpkin’s seeds, before Mama’s final journey to a pig farm. Pigs love to eat pumpkins, said Chan.
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it would have been cool to have made that into a jack o lantern. 🎃 :cool:
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
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Pumpkin named Michael Jordan weighs 2,749 pounds, beats world record
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Sydney Page, The Washington Post
Published Oct 14, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read
Travis Gienger poses with a giant pumpkin he grew in 2014.
Travis Gienger poses with a giant pumpkin he grew in 2014. PHOTO BY COURTESY OF TRAVIS GIENGER / HANDOUT /The Washington Post
Travis Gienger has been growing enormous pumpkins for nearly 30 years. He grows them so large, they weigh as much as a small car.


In 2020, he grew one he named Tiger King, which weighed in at 2,350 pounds. Last year, Maverick was 2,560 pounds.


This year, Gienger set his sights on topping his previous pumpkins. He lovingly tended to Michael Jordan, and watered the gourd a dozen times a day – with one goal in mind: the 50th Annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

Each year he and dozens of other gourd growers haul their overgrown winter squash to Half Moon Bay, Calif., the self-proclaimed “World Pumpkin Capital.”

Contenders transport their pumpkins, sometimes across the country, to have them carefully measured, weighed and inspected by a panel of judges. Gienger drove for 35 hours from his home in Anoka, Minn., with his pumpkin in a trailer secured to the back of his truck.

“It hardly fit in,” said Gienger, 43, a horticulture teacher at Anoka Technical College.

His effort paid off on Monday, when 6-month-old Michael Jordan weighed in at a whopping 2,749 pounds, smashing the competition, and also breaking the world record for the heaviest pumpkin.

“I really wasn’t expecting it,” Gienger said, despite winning the competition in previous years for Tiger King and Maverick.


When selecting names, he gives his gourds a moniker that represents the year they were grown. Gienger named his 2023 gourd Michael Jordan – after the basketball star’s jersey number, 23.

One pumpkin grower from Spain flew to California this year to see Michael Jordan in the flesh.

“It’s a really cool, niche group,” said Gienger, explaining that many growers at the annual competition have become friends. “It’s a worldwide field.”

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival draws thousands of visitors every fall for pumpkin-themed activities – one of which is the weigh-off. The coastal city is known for its vast pumpkin patches, making it an ideal spot for the two-day festival this weekend.

Gienger’s excitement over Michael Jordan is captured in a video as the pumpkin v which was weighed on a giant scale – broke the world record. Hundreds of people in the crowd cheered loudly. The last time someone broke the world record at the Half Moon Bay event was in 1984.


In addition to bragging rights, Gienger won a $30,000 prize for Michael Jordan, some of which he will use to “reinvest in the hobby” he said, adding that he plans to put away the rest for his 2-year-old daughter Lily’s college fund.

The competition was covered by both local and international news outlets, including KSTP-TV and the Guardian.

Gienger learned much of what he knows about pumpkins from his father, who was also a passionate pumpkin grower. Gienger starts planting seeds in his backyard pumpkin patch in mid-April, and he harvests in early October.

Supersized gourds grow from special seeds that are intended to produce giant pumpkins. People in the pumpkin-growing community often swap and share seeds.


“There’s really great camaraderie between all the pumpkin growers,” said Ronan Fowler, an event organizer. He said this year’s contest drew 35 contenders, some of whom travelled from Washington State, Oregon, Kansas and British Columbia.

Travis Gienger, at age 14, with a giant pumpkin.
Travis Gienger, at age 14, with a giant pumpkin. PHOTO BY FAMILY PHOTO / HANDOUT /The Washington Post
There are pumpkin “weigh off” contests around the globe, including in other parts of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Beyond using specific seeds, the secret to growing gigantic gourds is “just labour and love, as far as taking care of the plant, watering, fertilizing, pruning, weeding,” Gienger said, noting that his wife and neighbour help him with the effort.

Even though he has been growing pumpkins for decades, Gienger is always stunned by the gourds’ rapid rate of growth.


During the peak growth period, “they can grow up to 70 pounds a day,” he said.

Friday morning, Guinness World Records gave Gienger the official title of the heaviest pumpkin, and updated its site. The previous Guinness World Record holder for the heaviest pumpkin is Stefano Cutrupi, an Italian man who harvested a 2,702-pound pumpkin in Tuscany in 2021.



Gienger also shares the world record for the largest jack-‘o-lantern by circumference, a title he claimed last October for a pumpkin carved to look like an eagle. It had a circumference of 242 inches.

The enormous orange Michael Jordan pumpkin will be on display during the festival so that visitors can pat it and pose with it. The three runner-up pumpkins will also be showcased.

“When you see a pumpkin of that size, it is pretty mind-blowing,” Fowler said.

Following the festival, the pumpkin will “not be turned into pumpkin pie,” said Gienger, explaining that it will be used in upcoming Halloween events. “It’ll go on to be something very impressive.”

In the meantime, Gienger is basking in the glory of Michael Jordan. He wants next year’s pumpkin to be even bigger.

“It just puts smiles on people’s faces,” he said.
1697458204946.pngpumpkin-1[1].jpg
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
Nov 21, 2008
110,750
11,984
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Low Earth Orbit
That’s Pretty. Ours not so much, but stinky? Like Minty Fruity Skunky Forest Gasoline or something? Heavily Pungent as Hell. Broke some of it down tonight, but pretty gummy still, so it’ll get spread out to dry more.
View attachment 19694
Just ripped it up by hand. No rocket science.
I have a hand crank trimmer. It grinds leaves into a nice usable chopped product for hash and oil and nice trimmed bud.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
24,351
8,708
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Regina, Saskatchewan
I have a hand crank trimmer. It grinds leaves into a nice usable chopped product for hash and oil and nice trimmed bud.
Lisa has a coffee grinder. About a 2-3 second burst & it’s done, but I just ripped this up by hand to dry it…and get rid of most of the stems, so she can see what aquarium water & banana water made happen with random seeds.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
Nov 21, 2008
110,750
11,984
113
Low Earth Orbit
Lisa has a coffee grinder. About a 2-3 second burst & it’s done, but I just ripped this up by hand to dry it…and get rid of most of the stems, so she can see what aquarium water & banana water made happen with random seeds.
A coffee grinder would take me weeks to do the sugar and trim leaves

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Weather says I cut the last three down tomorrow.

It was a good growing season.