Wednesday, December 26, 2007

(Howard Dill and Dill 892 2006)
Howard Dill's 2008 Premium Atlantic Giant Seeds!

Good evening, Growers!

It always helps to start with excellent seeds. If you've ever wondered how to get 'pedigreed' seeds from 1,000+ pound pumpkins, read on.

Howard Dill's 2008 Premium Seed list and order form are available now at It's mail order only, and they are in Canada, so the sooner you place your order, the better.

I had a great conversation with Danny Dill when I was placed my order for this season's supply of Atlantic Giant seeds for the giant pumpkin growing workshops and my own efforts. They have been great sponsors of Pumpkinmania since the earliest years. (Danny mentioned a couple of particularly intriguing seeds that are highlighted on this year's list... You'll see them!)

Take care and good luck!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy Time Townhome Association
La Jolla, California
Conceptual Landscape Design:
Courtyard and Loggia Model

Landscape Design
Shanghai- London-Istanbul-Los Angeles

Stuart Shim, Senior Partner

December 2007
Scale: 1/4"=1.0'
Model dimensions: 10.0" (19.69 cm) wide X 20.0" (25.4 cm) long x 7.75" (19.69 cm) high

Monday, December 03, 2007

1,000+ pound Atlantic Seed Collection available from
Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers December 8, 2007!
Good evening, Growers!
I've been a member of the The Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers for a couple of years and it's been a wonderful experience. There are a number of very succesful veteran growers in the organization and they are very serious about having fun growing giant vegetables, particularly pumpkins.
Starting December 8, members of the general public will have the opportunity to buy, on a first- come, first-served basis, various lots of seeds from 1,000+ pounders from the 2007 growing season donated by members!
Their website is: You can also join as a member and have the ability of placing your order immediately. Membership is $35.00/year, and it's a bargain for having access to many great resources and enthusiasts!
Good luck!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Visit to Welburn Gourd Farm!

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

Believe it or not, the preparations for the 2008 Pumpkinmania event have already begun. Yes, after a couple of years of hand-made gourd trophy-making, it was time to replenish the supply of raw gourds. Fortunately, this need for gourds corresponded perfectly to the Welburn Gourd Farm's fall event, which happened yesterday. So, fortified with plenty of coffee, Lauren and I set out on a pilgrimmage to see and buy some hard-shell cucurbits.

The Welburn Gourd Farm, http://www.welburngourdfarm/ is located in a oak-shaded area at the end of De Luz road in Fallbrook. From the 76 East and the 5 freeway in Oceanside, it takes about another hour of driving. It is a very picturesque trip, with plenty of twists and turns through hills and valleys of sycamores and oaks. As we drove up, I took some pictures of some of the gourds that haven't been harvested yet.

As you can see from the images, there were many gourds of various shapes and sizes to choose from. Lauren spent most of her time searching for the perfect jewelry-size bottle gourd, while I loaded up on various canteen, bottle, and apple gourds. The gray gourds are uncleaned and will require some cleaning up before they become trophies next year. The light brown gourds are pre-cleaned and cost a little more.
After lunch in Fallbrook, at a great local Mexican restaurant, Las Brisas, we drove home with our newly-found and acquired treasures.
Here are the details:
Welburn Gourd Farm
40635-D De Luz Rd.Fallbrook, CA 92028 United States
Phone: (760) 728-4271Toll Free 1-877-420-2613 Fax: (760) 728-3965
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. PST
Closed: Saturdays & Sundays
Farm Open to the Public: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed: Sundays & Holidays

Monday, November 05, 2007

(Photo submitted by Jennifer Shim)
2008 Pumpkinmania Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest Date Set!

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

I am very pleased to announce that the 2008 Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest will take place at The Centennial Heritage Museum,, Sunday, October 26, 2008, registration from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., final weigh-off will begin at 12:00 p.m..
Please save the date!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

(Photo by Linda Slupsky/Epoch Times)
Pumpkinmania Featured in The Epoch Times
Good morning, Growers!
Linda Slupsky, journalist and photographer of The Epoch Times, the most widely distributed newspaper in the world, attended last Sunday's big event, and wrote an excellent account of the experience.
Here's the link to her article, including photos, which was published yesterday:
Happy reading!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Heaviest Pumpkins Ever Grown!
Good evening, Pumpkinistas!
I just received this images from Neptune's Harvest's public relations department.
This is, at 1,689 pounds, the heaviest pumpkin in the history of the world. The new world record-holder and grower, Joe Jutras, 1,689 pounds, Scituate, RI, used Neptune's Harvest Organic Fertilizers, the same, long-time Pumpkinmania sponsor and supporter.

Photo essay: The 2007 Pumpkinmania!
Good evening, Pumpkinistas!
Diane Mc Fadden, veteran grower, sent me these great imagesd!
Thank you very much, Diane!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Immortal Heroes of the 2007 Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest: Tino Lazo, his sons, and his brother, Marcos

Ron Sallinger, Senior Staff, left, and Casey Shim, right, Senior Staff, and sponsor, make last-minute equipment adjustments.

The trickiest unloading of the event: Agatha.

Nancy Park & Small, Orange

Ross Johnson & Frank II, Long Beach

Winner Funniest Shape

David Sengell & Big Mo, Whittier

John Di Gioia & Nessa, Anaheim

Phil Concan & Flat Bottom Flo, Garden Grove

Sponsor and judge, CEO, Roadkyll Apparel Graphics

Stan Brown & Janie, La Habra

Zayn Thompson & Duchess, Altadena

Co-Champion Youngest Giant Pumpkin Grower

Talia Van Wingerden & The Beast, Carpinteria

Co-Champion Youngest Giant Pumpkin Grower

Steve & Barbara Szemenyei & Emma, San Juan Capistrano

Winner Most Experienced Grower

Chris & Pam Zam & Hazel, San Juan Capistrano

The 2007 Pumkinmania Fifth Place Winner

Winner Best Color (Note hand-made gourd trophy proudly in Pam's hand.)

Walter Van Wingerden & The Bigger Beast, Carpinteria

The 2007 Pumpkinmania Fourth Prize Winner

Mark Imhoof & Ms. Mis-shapen, Irvine

The 2007 Pumpkinmania Third Place Winner

Winner Ugliest Pumpkin

Mike Gray & Brutis, Baldwin Park

The 2007 Pumpkinmania Second Place Winner

Ms. Michelle Lofthouse & Agatha, Monrovia

The 2007 Pumpkinmania Champion!

Good afternoon, Growers!
An unexpected surge in forklift demand, at 6:45 p.m., last Saturday night, nearly doomed this year's Pumpkinmania. No forklift meant no way to weigh the pumpkins. A Herculean predicament loomed. Then, at 7:35 p.m., after a flurry of phone calls, an unsuccesful web search, and a small animal sacrifice, I received word that Tino and Marcos Lazo, and Tino's sons, would be able to bring and set up a diesel engine hoist that would allowing weighing of this year's entries. The show must go on! The winds howled and the heavens scowled Sunday morning. Fortunately, all the sponsor banners were still flying, despite the hurricane force Santa Ana winds. The giant vegetable faithful and curious, giant and not-so-giant pumpkin growers, friends, neighbors and relatives, braved the winds and were held in thrall as a new contest record of 861 pounds was set by Michelle Lofthouse of Monrovia, the 2004 and 2005 Pumpkinmania Champion, and 2006 Second Place Winner and the 2007 Pumpkinmania Champion. Second place honors went to first-year growers, Mike and Susan Gray, of Baldwin Park, with 'Brutis', 592 pounds. Mark Imhoof of Irvine, and a long-time member of the elite and coveted Pumpkinmania lifting and weighing crew rounded out the top three finishers with, 'Ms. Mis-Shapen', 355 pounds.
Here's the complete the winners of the 2007 Pumpkinmania Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest!

First Place: Returning Champion, Ms. Michelle Lofthouse, of Monrovia, 861 pounds, ‘Agatha, $1,000 from Kellogg Garden Products/Gardner & Bloome, and a hand-crafted gourd trophy

Second Place: Mike and Susan Gray (not pictured) of Baldwin Park, 592 pounds, ‘Brutis’, $500 from Kellogg Garden Products/Gardner & Bloome, and a hand-crafted gourd trophy

Third Place: Mark Imhoof, of Irvine, 355 pounds, ‘Ms. Mis-shapen’, $300 from Kellogg Garden Products/Gardner & Bloome, and a hand-crafted gourd trophy

Fourth Place: Walter Van Wingerden of Carpinteria, 197 pounds, ‘The Bigger Beast’, $50 Gift Certificate from Green Thumb Nursery in Lake Forest

Fifth Place: Chris and Pam Zam of San Juan Capistrano, 186 pounds, 'Hazel', $50 Gift Certificate from Green Thumb Nursery in Lake Forest

The top five finishers also received 100 cc bottles of Yukikohime Skin Treatment, one quart bottles of Neptune’s Harvest Fish and Seaweed Blend fertilizer and ten ounce jars of GreenCure Organic Fungicide.

Best Color: Chris and Pam Zam, San Juan Capistrano, $50 Gift Certificate from Laguna Hills Nursery of Lake Forest and a hand-crafted gourd trophy

Funniest Shape: Ross Johnson, Long Beach, $50 Gift Certificate from Laguna Hills Nursery of Lake Forest and a hand-crafted gourd trophy

Ugliest Pumpkin: Mark Imhoof, Irvine, $75 Gift Certificate from Orange County Farm Supply of Orange

Most Experienced Grower: Steve Szemenyei , San Juan Capistrano, $50 American Express Gift Card from Blue Hills Nursery of Whittier

Youngest Grower (Tie): Talia Van Wingerden, Carpinteria, $50 Gift Certificate from Cedros Gardens of Solana Beach

Youngest Grower: Zayn Thompson of Anaheim, $50 Gift Certificate from Island View Nursery of Carpinteria

Guess the Weight of the Pumpkins Contest (Total correct weight: 1,453 pounds!)

$50 First Place: Christy Concan, 1,425, Garden Grove

$25 Second Place: Tara Garrett, 1,404, Oceanside
$10 Third Place: Sonny Butler, 1,379, Murrieta

I would like to thank the following individuals, sponsors and staff for their critical participation and help. Without them, there wouldn’t be a Pumpkinmania:

The Immortals: Tino Lazo, and his sons, and his brother Marcos

Ty Hall, Kellogg Garden Products

Phil Concan, Roadkyll Apparel Graphics

Colleen Mensel, Centennial Heritage Museum

Jane Murray, Centennial Heritage Museum

Sharon Stolen, UCCE Master Gardeners

Gary Matsuoka, Laguna Hills Nursery

Ann Molloy, Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fertilizers

Nobo Azuma, YK Flora/HB-101

Kenji Otsuka, YK Flora/HB-101

Ron Hamada, Batavia Garden Nursery

Chris Roy, Orange County Farm Supply

Joanne Fried, U-Haul International

Danny Dill, Howard Dill Enterprises

Casey T. Shim, Seitz & Shim, LLP Attorneys-at-Law

Mia McCarville, Cedros Gardens

Christie Boyd, Island View Nursery

Peter Yeager, GreenCure

Sharon and Bruce Asakawa, Garden Compass Media

Sam Ingardia, Ingardia Wholesale Produce

Greg Thiel, Hydrofarm

Milo Shammas, Dr. Earth

Ron Sallinger

Mark Imhoof

Charles Arnold

Janis Parkinson

Lauren Shim

Brian Gould
Jessie Chen
Christy Concan

Elaina Breen