Sunday, September 30, 2012

Calling all Melons and Pumpkins

So yesterday was the annual pumpkin and watermelon weigh off at Andy T's Farm Market in St. Johns.  It's a pretty big deal and one of only three in the state.  Andy actually uses and sells Liquid for vegetables, plus he's a nice guy.  Brian and Tim B each grew a pumpkin and watermelon for the contest.  The competition was pretty stiff.  I had never been to such an event before, but after listening to the contestants, it is an obsession. 
Below is a picture of Brian and Tim and their respective watermelons.  Brian's was 201lbs, good enough for second place.  Tim's was 193 lbs, and he got third.  Good move not to beat your boss Tim.
However the winning melon was 272 pounds, which was a new state record.  Here are the podium finishers.  Although not a contest, a guy brought by a 96.5 inch gourd that is in front of the melons. 
Now the pumpkin growers take this contest to a different level.  They all indicated that the growing conditions were harsh this year leading to plant mortality (gasp!) and smaller than normal weights.  I eavesdropped on some conversations, and they were talking about the importance of manured ground, kelp and bloodmeal and other stuff, in addition to fertilizer.  Brian said most of the serious growers will have a mini-greenhouse in the fields and some have waterings on a timer.  Well we had none of that, but I told Brian we should make a more serious effort next year.  I mean we have a reputation and all.  So sadly, Brian and Tim were a ways off the top weights.  Below is the winner being hoisted onto the scale.  Brian was helping with the pumpkin harness.  It was a whopping 1399 pounds!  Second was around 20 pounds less, so there were some big ones.  The world record was just broken this weekend in Massachusetts by a Rhode Island pumpkin at 2009 pounds.  Now everyone has a goal.
For entertainment there was a pumpkin carver.  Pretty cool. 
Hope you had similar fun this weekend.