Yesterday, I went to a Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. I found out about it last week and thought it sounded like fun. I was also hoping to find some advice, because I have a horrible time growing pumpkins. Few of my female flowers open (they just wither on the vine and die) so I don't get the chance to pollinate them (yes, I have tried to help my pumpkins have sex.) So I was hoping that somebody there might be able to tell me what I was doing wrong.
The weigh-off was for the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers Club. It had many elements of a typical fall harvest festival--food, drink, bouncy castle, face painting, baking contest--with the notable difference that the competition fruits were a yard in diameter. There were some pretty impressive pumpkins at this thing. I went by myself, but next year I think I'll bring the family. My son is a little timid in crowds right now, but by next year I hope he would enjoy the bouncy castle and the fruit that's bigger than him.
I didn't stay the whole time, so I didn't get the chance to see what the heaviest pumpkin weighed. (They were starting with the lightest.) I wanted to see the big ones, but needed to get home. However, I did stay long enough to see how they transported the pumpkins, which I was really curious about. The smaller pumpkins (like those for the junior division, which I DID see all of) they simply rolled the pumpkin back, pushed a tarp with handles under it, and then team lifted it with two to four people. I knew they were never going to do that with the thousand-pounders, so I was curious. The answer is that after using a forklift to bring the pallet with the pumpkin over next to the scale, they used this apparatus, hanging from the forklift, to wrap around the pumpkin:
After seeing all the giants yesterday, and considering that we're now five days from October, I decided it was time to puree the pie pumpkins I got at last week's farmers' market in preparation of doing some pumpkin baking. I make some killer Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies which I can only allow myself to make in October and November so my family doesn't overeat all year long. We also have some good pumpkin pasta and pumpkin soup recipes, and I like to make my own puree. I only got 5 cups from two pumpkins though, so I'm going to have to buy another 4 or 5 of them. The soup takes 4 cups on its own, and the cookies take 2 for each batch (technically that's for a double batch, but I always make it double, it means I can wait a little longer before making more.) So I'm going to need to stock up on more pumpkin.
I hope everybody's Halloween/Harvest Time goes well!