Fun Pumpkin Growing Facts
Here are some funny facts about growing giant pumpkins that we have learned as The Offspring of the Pumpkin Man:
*The current North American pumpkin record is 2,528 pounds, grown by Steve Geddes.
*At our giant pumpkin's peak, it puts on up to 40 pounds a day. We grow on a bed of sand to prevent skin- cracking that can be caused by friction with the ground.
*The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) is the governing organization that cultivates the hobby of growing giant pumpkins throughout the world by establishing standards and regulations for the annual weigh-offs.
*Many of the GPC weigh-offs also showcase giant fruits and vegetables like watermelon, pear gourds and tomatoes.
*Shortly after our dad became obsessed with giant pumpkins, he soon started a pumpkin blog that he kept secret from our mom. No, seriously. She wrote about it in The Denver Post. Also, see our media coverage below; he has been featured on USA Today, National Geographic and was called an "icon" by HGTV.
*My dad was once serenaded by Jerry Seinfeld on national television as Jerry sang "The Pumpkin Man," to the tune of "The Muffin Man."
*He knows the weight of every one of his pumpkins but don't ask him how much we weighed when we were born. (Hey, Dad: We were 6 pounds 14 ounces and 8 pounds 6 ounces.)
*The most common variety of pumpkin grown for world-record competitions is the Atlantic Giant, which produces the largest fruit of any plant in the world. Each pumpkin can contain as many as 800 seeds.
*We hand-germinate all our pumpkins. If you don't know what that means, we can start from the very beginning of when a boy flower loves a girl flower.
*A lot of the giant pumpkins are really ugly. This ain't no beauty contest!
*Debunking myths: No, we don't inject milk to grow them big, our pumpkins are grown using sustainable, mostly organic practices.
*The night before the weigh-off, we hold a Giant Pumpkin party where friends bring their favorite pumpkin treats and dishes to pay homage to the Great Pumpkin.
*We need lifting straps and a forklift to lift the pumpkin onto the trailer to transport to the weigh-off.
*Pumpkins are grown for weight not necessarily size. Pumpkin growers always hope their plants "go heavy" at the scale.
*Pumpkin growers commonly say that happiness is spending hundreds of dollars to win a $5 ribbon and that "The baloney stops when the tailgate drops."
Linus said it best in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: "There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."
*One year, our dad wore a scary mask, hid inside the pumpkin and terrified the neighborhood on Halloween.
The Pumpkin Man is famous (and you can be, too!)
Giant Pumpkin Growers prove size matters (USA Today)
How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin (HGTV)
Arvada man keeps trying to pumpkin record (Denver Post)
Lord of the Gourd Jamie Johnson (Denver Post video)
Life Lessons from Growing the Great Pumpkin (Denver Post) column
The Pumpkin Man (Heber Valley Life)
National Geographic (no link)
Denver Mormon Pushes the Pumpkin (Deseret News)
Did you watch NBC's comedy, The Marriage Ref? Our parents appeared in front of celebrity panel Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais and Julianne Moore to duke it out over about Dad's obsession with growing the Great Pumpkin. (Entertainment Weekly)