Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off

August 29, 2008 Updated: August 29, 2008

The 'HOPE' Pumpkin at 300 lbs. Hope's dimensions were 68` from stem to blossom, 75` from side to side, and 98` in circumference, for a total of 241`, 303 lbs.  (Pumpkinmania)
The 'HOPE' Pumpkin at 300 lbs. Hope`s dimensions were 68` from stem to blossom, 75` from side to side, and 98` in circumference, for a total of 241`, 303 lbs. (Pumpkinmania)
SANTA ANA, Calif.It might be hard work but overall it's fun. From sharing his knowledge through Giant-Pumpkin-Growing Workshops up and down the coast to congratulating the final winners at the Weigh-Off and Contest, Stuart Shim is enjoying himself and encouraging others to have fun too.

Each year in the Fall, growers and supporters gather together in the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off and Contest, bringing their best giant pumpkin specimens to enjoy the competition and celebrate with the winner.

In 2007 at the Centennial Heritage Museum in Santa Ana, California, more than twelve entries competed for Biggest Pumpkin. The winner weighed 861 pounds. Contestants even name their pumpkins; for example, the second place winner last year was ‘Ms. Shapen’ and a potential giant pumpkin this year is called ‘Hope.’

On his blog (pumpkinmania.blogspot.com), Shim lists Instructions for growing giant pumpkins to help get newcomers started, then posts size/weight updates of some of the growing pumpkins.

The ‘Hope’ Pumpkin Update

The progress on ‘Hope’ was posted as it grew from 300 pounds on Aug. 7 to 330 on Aug. 10. When it reached 350 lbs. it turned the bright orange color of a mature pumpkin, the vines stopped sprouting new leaves, and it looked like it had stopped growing. So it was apparent that at this year’s Weigh-Off, ‘Hope’ is not likely to be one of the largest.

But this drama is part of the fun, and Shim also features other successes from photos sent in by growers along with their growing methods. He documents the Patch Tour and Full Moon Luau in which growers and interested friends took a tour of some of the giant pumpkin growing patches, including a rewarding barbecue beneath the full moon.

The Epoch Times will publish updates and results of the weigh-off and contest.