Thursday, September 8, 2011


It's time for county and state fairs.  If you're lucky there is one near you.  My favorite part of the fair is the chickens, especially the fancy ones with top-nots and fluffy feet.

Many fairs feature extreme vegetable contests.  Eighteen pound carrots and 50 pound beets are wheeled in.  But the ultimate sport in extreme vegetables is giant pumpkin growing.  Pumpkineers are a class unto themselves.  Technology, technique and seed hybridization are closely guarded secrets.  All admit that luck plays a big role.  In the last 20 years pumpkineering has grown from a casual hobby to obsession for the top growers.  Standards have changed.  "Heavy" used to be 400 pounds.  Today the heavy-weights come in over 1,500 pounds slung with hoists and pulleys from the back of big trucks.  Take a quick look on YouTube.

Why do I care?  I love the competition - but more than that I love the demonstration of the power of photosynthesis.  From seed to 3/4 ton in three months.  This is a natural process.  This is the essential building block of life on this earth.  Go green!

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