This is part three of my seven-day pumpkin carving series where I am featuring the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular of Providence, Rhode Island in leading up to Halloween. Today, my photos will show pumpkins we found in the Asian section of the Spectacular. My content will look at the hot competition that exists to create the world’s largest pumpkin.
It was only a matter of time until someone grew a 2,000 pound/one ton pumpkin. And it was grown in tiny Rhode Island, home of the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular, which I have been featuring this week. Ron Wallace accomplished this feat in 2012 with a 2009-pound giant. He had previously broken the world record in 2006 with a 1502-pound pumpkin. This speaks to how fast pumpkin weight is increasing. The sky is apparently the limit: One article noted that a perfectly round pumpkin could weigh up to 20,000 pounds! No world records were set this year, but a German grower raised a 2,624.6-pound colossus in 2016. His success also gave notice to Americans and Canadians that their dominance in the rather unusual sport of growing giant pumpkins might be at an end.
A quick perusal of the Internet showed me that there is a lot of interest in growing big pumpkins. Knowing the science, having the right seeds and soil, and even naming your pumpkin seems to be important. For example, I learned that you should never name your pumpkin Tiny Tim. It insults the pumpkin and it will refuse to grow. Here’s what an article in the Smithsonian had to say on growing giants: “Keep them at the perfect temperature, give them continuous food and water, protect their delicate skins from drying and cracking, and cover them at night for warmth.” Sounds like advice for raising a baby to me— without the diapers. Genetics are even more important: Big pumpkins come from the seeds of big pumpkins, which come from the seeds of big pumpkins and so on all the way back to Jack Dill who patented a seed in 1981 that he had been working on for 30-years.
Now, if you have a fairy god-mother and some glass slippers, you just might be able to make a pumpkin carriage fit to impress a prince or princess.
NEXT POST: We’ll catch up with Hobbits at the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular while I share one of three ghostly tales I will include with this Halloween series. I grew up next to a graveyard, so my young life was filled with ghosts. None was quite as scary as the time my dead father decided to haunt me, however, which will be the the subject of my next post.