Growing and celebrating giant pumpkins
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Although pumpkins are a thoroughly American crop, the British seed company Thompson & Morgan is offering £10,000 in 2009 for any British pumpkin grower who breaks the world record.Skip to next paragraph
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There are scores of pumpkin celebrations held throughout the US, featuring not only weigh-offs, but carving and painting contests, pumpkin-chucking events, pumpkin T shirts, pumpkin crafts, and pumpkin foods (pancakes, popovers, breads, muffins, pies, cakes, biscuits, soup, ice cream, and more).
One of the best is the Cooperstown (N.Y.) PumpkinFest, which offers $2,500 for the heaviest pumpkin and culminates in a Great Pumpkin Regatta on Otsego Lake.
Pumpkin regattas are catching on, probably because the giant fruits aren’t good for much beyond bragging rights. They’re way too big to set on the front steps of your house, they’re not especially edible, and they’re too thick and tough to carve without power tools.
I don’t expect to be boating on Lake Champlain in a 1,000-pound pumpkin next fall, but I am going to keep checking in with the online community bigpumpkins.com. The common wisdom is that all I need are good seeds, good soil, and good fortune.
I’d add to that list 10 good friends — to haul the pumpkin out of the garden.
Karan Davis Cutler, a former magazine editor and newspaper columnist, is the author of scores of garden articles and more than a dozen books, including “Burpee - The Complete Flower Gardener” and “Herb Gardening for Dummies.” She now struggles to garden in the unyieldingly dense clay of Addison County, Vermont, on the shore of Lake Champlain, where she is working on a book about gardening to attract birds and other wildlife. She will be blogging regularly for Diggin’ It.
Editor’s note: To read more posts by Karan, see our blog archive. The Monitor’s main gardening page offers articles on many gardening topics. See also our RSS feed. You may want to visit Gardening With the Monitor on Flickr. Take part in the discussions and get answers to your gardening questions. If you join the group (it’s free), you can upload your garden photos and enter our next contest.