Pumpkinmania Growing Almost at an End

October 10, 2008 Updated: October 1, 2015
PUMPKINS GALORE: Pick your shape, pick your size. (Cat Rooney/The Epoch Times)
PUMPKINS GALORE: Pick your shape, pick your size. (Cat Rooney/The Epoch Times)

We are now two weeks away from the Pumpkinmania contest’s Weigh-off and the pumpkins are still growing, and are still going through the typical trials and tribulations. The most recent post on Stuart Shim’s Pumpkinmania blog is a huge green grasshopper photograph sent by Jessie C. If only it were a Grasshopper-growing Contest! The photo is one of the entries in the digital photography contest.

What makes a winner?

We asked the current champion, Michelle Lofthouse of Autumnleaf Farm, if she had any tips for growing a winner. Her answer might be surprising coming from a person who has been so successful, “The secret of success…..mostly luck, I guess.” Then she told us what she does to augment her luck. “Also I have a great respect for soil preparation.  What you put in at the beginning is what you reap in the end, luck and weather permitting.” This season she also credits help from friends who came to water her plants so she could take a quick vacation, and a  young neighbor friend who helped haul last year's manure over to the patch, “….and there is a horse on the property that 'helped' in her own way too!” she says. Getting back to the idea of what you start with, she lists good seed selection as another important point, and finally, the Southern California constant requirement, enough water.

With all this work going on in many pumpkin patches we will keep our fingers crossed that each grower’s best specimen makes it to the Weigh-off on Oct. 26.

The 2008 Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest:

Sunday, October 26, 2008, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., entry and grower registration from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., final weigh-off begins at 12:00 noon.

Location: Centennial Heritage Museum, 3101 West Harvard Street, Santa Ana, CA 92704, http://www.centennialmuseum.org/, for map and directions.

Free to enter, free to attend!

Prizes: Heaviest Pumpkin, First Place, $1,000, Second Place, $500, Third Place, $300, courtesy of Gardner & Bloome division of Kellogg Garden Products. Prizes will be also awarded for Best Color, Funniest Shape, Youngest Grower, Most Experienced Grower, Most Classic Pumpkin, and many more.

Activities: Children face-painting, Victorian tea, blacksmithing demonstrations, Guess the Weight of The Three Heaviest Pumpkins, and more.

(For more information see www.Pumpkinmania.blogspot.com)