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

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Island View Nursery's Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off!

Good morning, Growers!
I received this update and these pictures of Island View Nursery's Fall Festival from Lisa Cullen, of Garden Gossip radio and Montecito Landscape last Friday. I particularly like the very resourceful design and construction of their weighing apparatus.
"The winner of the Giant Pumpkin weigh-off at the Island View Nursery Fall Festival, October 6, 2007, was Walter Van Wingerden pictured here with his winning pumpkin, daughter Talia (also a contestant) and hosts, Christie Boyd and Salome of Island View Nursery.

Congratulations, Walter!

Lisa Cullen
Garden Gossip
1187 Coast Village Rd #160Montecito, CA 93108
805-331-6046 Fax 805-456-2150
Guess the Weight of The Pumpkins Contest
Speaking of weighing apparatus, I have had a few questions about this year's Guess the Weight of the Pumpkins Contest. The contest will be open to non-growers/the attendees of this year's Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest. The object is to guess the combined weight of the two heaviest entries and a third, tie-breaker pumpkin. The contest will run from 8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon. The individual who comes the closest, without going over the combined weight will be the winner. In the event of a tie, the individual coming closest to the tie-breaker pumpkin's weight, without going over will be the winner. One entry per person. Winner needs to be present to receive their prize. No touching, lifting, or handling of the entries is allowed. As always, the decision of the judges is final.

We thought it would be nice to have an activity for the attendees of Pumpkinmania!

Good luck to all!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Scott Glenn of Placentia's First Year Effort!

Good afternoon, Growers!

Scott Glenn, in Placentia, e-mailed me these great pictures of this year's results.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

(Photos of moving his 2007 entry courtesy of Alexander Morales. The happy baby is Diego, Alex's grandson. Thanks, Alex!)

Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest!

Sunday, October 21, 2007
Entry registration: 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Final weigh-off: 12:00, high noon

The Centennial Heritage Museum
3101 West Harvard Street
(Corner of Fairview and Harvard)
Santa Ana, CA 92704

$1,000.00 First Prize for Heaviest Pumpkin
$500.00 Second Prize for Heaviest Pumpkin
$300.00 Third Prize for Heaviest Pumpkin
Sponsored by Gardner & Bloome Premium Garden Soils
Prizes awarded for Funniest Shape, Best Color, Ugliest Pumpkin and more!

NEW! "Guess the Weight of the Two Heaviest Pumpkins Contest" open to Pumpkinmania attendees!
Prize and workshop sponsors include: Laguna Hills Nursery, Batavia Gardens, Blue Hills Nursery, Cedros Gardens, Island View Nursery, Green Thumb Nursery and Orange County Farm Supply

Our other great sponsors and supporters are: Crainco Crane Services, U-Haul International, Dr. Earth Organic Fertilizers, HB-101 Organic Growth Enhancer, Neptune's Harvest Organic Fertilizers, Roadkyll Graphics and Screenprinting, Howard Dill's 'Atlantic Giant' giant pumpkin seeds, Tip Top Bio-Control, Ingardia Brothers Wholesale Produce, UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County, GreenCure Organic Fungicide, Hydrofarm Heated Seedling Mats, and Seitz & Shim, LLC, Attorneys at law.
For additional information, please contact: Stuart Shim at (949) 683-5932, or e-mail:
Free to enter, free to attend!

Pumpkinmania! 2007 Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest

Rules & Regulations

1. This is an open competition to all growers in any part of the world.
2. The pumpkin must be grown by the grower and in the country where the grower resides.
3. A grower may enter only one pumpkin, and no family may enter more than two entries.
4. Entries will be received between 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on the day of competition.
5. Entries must be sound, healthy, and undamaged. This means free of rot, holes or cracks through to the cavity, chemical residue, soil, and soft spots.
6. No foreign material is to be included in the weighing. Vine must be trimmed within 1.0” from the stem of the fruit. Judges reserve the right to fully inspect each pumpkin before the weight is announced and official. Refusal to allow inspection of a pumpkin will result in its disqualification.
7. Any pumpkin previously entered in or weighed at any other competition prior to the contest will be deemed ineligible.
8. In the event of a tie, prize(s) will be combined and split equally among entrants.
9. Decision of the judges will be final in all cases.
10. Contest sponsors and staff shall not be liable for compensation for loss or damage to any pumpkins, contestants, their families and friends, or personal property. All entrants completely and totally indemnify the sponsors and organizers of the weigh-off and contest.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Global Branding

Good evening, Growers!

The marketing and promotional reach of Pumpkinmania's sponsors goes well beyond the borders of the United States, in this case, Mexico!

Can you spot the Roadkyll decal?