The day of The Great Pumpkin Carnival dawned in fitting shades of orange.
There wasn’t a great swathe of orange at the homestead this year. But we did get to go to The Great Pumpkin Carnival, unlike last year. And I did get to enter some pumpkins in the competition. This season I was more focussed on 1) growing food and 2) a last ditch attempt to grow true Wee Bee Little pumpkins from my saved seed. I entered what I could and The Husband and The Little Fulla both made pumpkin racers, using squashes I grew.
As usual, there was some excellent creativity among the pumpkin creations. Not many people so keen on giving carving a go though.
There weren’t a whole lot of giant pumpkins entered this year. Maybe a lot of people turned their attention to growing food this season. The reigning giant pumpkin family had a nice surprise though. Skilful grower Tim Harris broke his own NZ record with a 844.5kg cracker of a pumpkin!
There was some stiff competition in some of the categories I entered this year. I had two entries for Best Mature Miniature Pumpkin, two entries for Most Perfect Pumpkin, an entry for Lightest Mature Miniature Pumpkin and an entry for Oddest Pumpkin.
I’m not very good at growing odd pumpkins. I guess I don’t subject them to enough neglect! Which is generally a good thing… My butternut didn’t get anywhere but the oddity of the bum-shaped pumpkin that won was quite impressive.
My lightest miniature pumpkin looked like it was probably fourth. It’s the lightest one I’ve grown yet, weighing 55 grams, so that’s an improvement. I suppose I ought to thank the slugs and snails for eating the previous plants and leaving me with stunted ones. But I don’t want their antics to go to their heads.
There were a number of entries for Most Perfect Pumpkin, ranging greatly in size. I lost out to more well-proportioned pumpkins. I have grown better ones than my entries here. Last year I grew the winner. But, slim pickings this season. I put the one that I thought was the best overall in the Best Mature Miniature Pumpkin competition.
Thankfully, I did actually get one prize! I got third for Best Mature Miniature Pumpkin. There was stiff competition there too so I’m glad I got something. My best Wee Bee Little pumpkin did me proud. Thanks Plant #2.
There were a lot of pumpkin racers this year. The Husband’s last-minute planning left him with a chopstick for a front axle, which didn’t do his racer a whole lot of service… Fortunately, I had bought a proper axle for The Little Fulla’s racer. Maybe I will make a pumpkin racer next year. The Little Fulla’s pumpkin racer raced really well. It was one of the best. But the way the final heats were run left him without a placing and us trying to explain to him that he didn’t get a prize.
The Little Fulla was very taken with his pumpkin racer nonetheless and had great fun racing both racers down cardboard ramps when we got back home, even keeping a scorecard of some mysterious sorts. When The Husband’s pumpkin racer’s wheels would no longer stay on I was allowed to put the butternut into the pantry for eating purposes. But I think I’ll be hard-pressed to get The Little Fulla’s racer off him before it starts rotting. I have tried explaining that we can make it into pumpkin puree to make pumpkin waffles. Maybe that will sink in before it’s too late to use it. For now, he can enjoy his pumpkin racer as much as he wants to.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m not feeling eager to grow more pumpkins and more pumpkin varieties next year. That always happens after The Great Pumpkin Carnival. I still have the Save The Wee Bee Littles quest to carry on with though. And a baby coming. I. Will. Be. Sensible. But it has just occurred to me that if I’m not growing giant pumpkins, I have a hole that could potentially be filled in the third pumpkin/squash species, Cucurbita maxima, which aren’t likely to cross with the other two pumpkin/squash species…