Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Epoch Times Article!
Good evening, Growers!
I apologize. I have been remiss in letting you know that the excellent Epoch Times account by Diana Mathias, Epoch Times writer and 2008 Pumpkinmania judge is available at:
The article was spotted by our loyal grower in Germany, Janni.
Vielen danke!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Scott Briggs and 'Jr.'s Post Pumpkinmania Tour and Carving!
Good evening, Growers!
Have you ever wondered what happens to the pumpkins after they've participated in Pumpkinmania?
I received this update and the images above from Scott Briggs:
"Hi Stuart. It is Scott Briggs. Thank you again for a great day and event.
I saw that my father has given you details of events that followed your event. However, I wanted to send you pics of kids and "Jr." together. The Monday following Pumpkinmania, I took "Jr." on a half-day tour to 2 elementary schools (My sister and wife are teachers.) and 1 preschool (my daughter's). To say the kids were amazed would be an understatement. It was as much fun as Pumpkinmania. Take care and thanks again."
Thank you very much Scott!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Photo by Coleen Briggs

Photo by Coleen Briggs

Photo by Coleen Briggs

Scott Briggs on CBS 2 and KCAL Channel 9
and in The Acorn, Simi Valley!

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

A few people have mentioned a recent television news story about Scott Briggs and peripherally, Pumpkinmania! Fortunately, I received this e-mail message from Bill Briggs, Scott Briggs' dad:

"Hi Stuart,

Did you get the three pictures of the three winners together at Pumpkinmania? I sent them on the 29th. Here is a link to an article a reporter wrote about "The Pumpkin Man", as she has named him, in the local Simi Valley newspaper, The Acorn. It is one of those neat little local newspapers that really does have local news.

Below is a link to a news story channels 2/9 did on Friday as a result of the article in the Acorn.

He has really had a busy week! Boy did a lot of people show up just to look at the pumpkins tonight in addition to the trick or treaters.

Thanks again for a fun Sunday!

Lets hear it for Pumpkins!

Bill Briggs"

Thank you very much, Bill! The article and television story are great!

Pumpkin Launch at Cal State Fullerton!

Good afternoon, Growers!
The Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana and the Future Scientists and Engineers of America joined California State University, Fullerton's College of Engineering and Computer Science to offer a fall festival with a science twist yesterday.

The day of fun activities was held at Fullerton’s Titan Stadium. Free activities included a carved-pumpkin contest, a mini-catapult contest, music, a Medieval technology display, entertainment. The highlight of the event was the chance to watch college engineering and some San Diego middle school students, staff from Booz Allen & Hamilton, and Boeing engineers, launch pumpkins using devices designed and built by their respective teams. The devices ranged from Middle Age siege machines called trebuchets, to an industrial strength slingshot by Boeing, to a pneumatic cannon from Cal State University Long Beach, that fired a pumpkin out of Titan stadium during its first test-firing! Also featured at the event were projects from California State University, Fullerton’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, such as a concrete canoe.

For a video of one of the trebuchet's being assembled and tested, please visit:
It was a very pleasant couple of hours of fun!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Bowling in Northern California
Good evening, Growers!
I received these photos from Ty Hall, Pumpkinmania Judge, Crew Member and also District Manager of Pumpkinmania sponsor, Kellogg Garden Products.
Imagine using giant pumpkins, on a slope, and very large bowling pins.
Have a great evening,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hope's New Home!

Good evening, Growers!

Well, 'Hope' missed the weigh-off but for a great cause! This is the Giant Pumpkin Crew of Mary Bragg Elementary School, in Cerritos. Tomorrow evening, the school's having a fund-raiser as part of their "Trunk or Treat" event: They stopped by to pick up, load, and transport 'Hope' to Cerritos this evening.
It's for a wonderful cause, to celebrate the life of a kindergarten teacher who passed away from cancer last year and her love for big pumpkins. So, I hope you will all show your support, stop by, and try to guess the weight of 'Hope'!
Good luck!
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Photo by Coleen Briggs

Photo by Coleen Briggs

Photo by Ty Hall

Photo by Ty Hall

Photo by Ty Hall

Photo by Ty Hall

Martha Senger, Whittier, 'Outie', 9 pounds

Russ and Lauren Price, San Juan Capistrano, 'Acorn' 24.5 pounds

Shannon Paukstis, Placentia, 'Beauty, Ay', 25 pounds

Robert Paukstis, Placentia, 'Beast', 25.5 pounds

David Senger, Whittier, 'Little Lucia', 31.5 pounds

Stacey and Wendy Taylor, Laguna Niguel, 'Thor'(Thorette), 43.5 pounds

Matthew McClain, Altadena, 'Spiney', 51.5 pounds

Martha Treadway, Norwalk, 'Ms. Peanut', 52.5 pounds

Gracie Gilmore, Santa Ana, 'Stella', 90 pounds

Mark Imhoof, Irvine, 'Pee-Wee', 115 pounds

Chuck McClain, Altadena, 'Mary Rose', 147.5 pounds

Mayson Gilmore, Santa Ana, 'Fred', 150.5 pounds

Phil Concan, Garden Grove, 'Hilary', 154 pounds

Linda Hales, Huntington Beach, 'Patty', 155 pounds

Gloria Broming (l.), San Juan Capistrano, 'Gloria's Gourd', 209.5 pounds

John Allen, Corona, 'Mr. H.W. Bill', 375.5 pounds

Russ Price, San Juan Capistrano, 'Angus', 475 pounds

Michelle Lofthouse, Monrovia, 'Gertie', 842.5 pounds

Darryl Gregoire, Altadena, 'Logan', 943.5 pounds

John Sach, Whittier, 'Sunney', 1,059 pounds

Scott Briggs Sets New Pumpkinmania Weigh-off & Contest Record!

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

History was made yesterday afternoon, when Scott Briggs of Simi Valley's entry, 'Jr.', weighed 1,110 pounds, a new Pumpkinmania Weigh-off & Contest record! In fact, the previous contest record set in 2007, of 861 pounds, by Michelle Lofthouse, was broken by John Sach's, second place effort, 'Sunney' at 1,059 pounds, and Darryl Gregoire's third place finish, of 943.5 pounds, 'Logan'. Rounding out the top five spots were Michelle Lofthouse, Monrovia, the Winningest Grower in Pumpkinmania History, in fourth place with 'Gertie', 842.50 pounds and in fifth place, Russ Price, San Juan Capistrano, with 'Angus', 475 pounds. The final outcome of this year's competition wasn't determined until John Sach's entry was weighed last to the delight and surprise of the 220 attendees, growers, and their family, friends, neigbors, and other supporters.

Growers, attendees, management and staff were treated to sunny weather, clear skies, and the very occasional breeze. The Centennial Heritage Museum sponsored a Victorian tea, the always popular Satin and Spurs Western re-enactment group, face and pumpkin painting using pumpkins donated by Ingardia Brothers Produce, Santa Ana. The Orange County Blacksmith Guild provided rhythm and percussion to the activity of 21 entries, ranging in weight from 9 to 1,110 pounds, being unloaded by the veteran and loyal Pumpkinmania staff. Two new categories were added this year: The Most Classic Pumpkin and The Largest Organically Grown Pumpkin.

Here are the final results:

First Place: Scott Briggs, Simi Valley, 1,110 pounds, 'Jr.', $1,000 from Kellogg Garden Products/Gardner & Bloome, wreath, pumpkin paperweight, 2008 Pumpkinmania limited-edition T-shirt

Second Place: John Sach, Whittier, 1,059 pounds, 'Sunney', $500 from Kellogg Garden Products/Gardner & Bloome, wreath, pumpkin paperweight, 2008 Pumpkinmania limited-edition T-shirt

Third Place: Darryl Gregoire, Altadena, 943.5 pounds, 'Logan', $300 from Kellogg Garden Products/Gardner & Bloome, wreath, pumpkin paperweight, 2008 Pumpkinmania limited-edition T-shirt

Fourth Place: Michelle Lofthouse, Monrovia, 842.5 pounds, 'Gertie' $50 Gift Certificate, Batavis Gardens

Fifth Place: Russ Price, San Juan Capistrano, 475 pounds, 'Angus'

Sixth Place: John Allen, Corona, 375.5 pounds, 'Mr. H.W. Bill'

Seventh Place: Gloria Broming, San Juan Capistrano, 209.5 pounds, 'Gloria's Gourd'

Eighth Place: Linda Hales, Huntington Beach, 155 pounds, 'Patty'

Ninth Place: Phil Concan, Garden Grove, 154 pounds, 'Hilary'

Tenth Place: Mayson Gilmore, Santa Ana, 150.5 pounds, 'Fred'

Eleventh Place: Chuck McClain, Altadena, 147.5, 'Mary Rose'

The top five finishers received 1, one quart bottle of Neptune’s Harvest Fish and Seaweed Blend fertilizer.

The fourth through eleventh place finishers each received a Heated Seedling Mat (retail value $35.00) from HydroFarm

Best Color: Russ Price, San Juan Capistrano, $50 Gift Certificate from Cedros Gardens, Solana Beach

Funniest Shape: Martha Treadway, Norwalk, $50 Gift Certificate from Batavia Garden, Orange

Ugliest Pumpkin: Russ Price, San Juan Capistrano, $50 Gift Certificate from Orange County Farm Supply, Orange

Most Classic: Stacey and Wendy Taylor, Laguna Niguel, $50 Gift card from The Epoch Times

Largest organically grown: Scott Briggs, Simi Valley, $50 Gift Certificate from Yamagami's Nursery, Cupertino

Most Experienced Grower: John Sach, Whittier, $25 Gift Card from Walter Andersen Nursery, Poway

Youngest Grower: Mayson Gilmore, Santa Ana, $25 Gift Card from Walter Andersen Nursery, Poway

Guess the Weight of the Pumpkins Contest (Total correct weight: 3,112.5 pounds!)
$50 First Place: Sean McManus, 3,200, Lake Elsinore, Gift Cards from Blue Hills Nursery, Whittier
$25 Second Place: Katie McClain, 3,016, Altadena, from Dr. Earth

$10 Third Place: Diana Saltikov, 3,015, Whittier, from Dr. Earth

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:

Ty Hall, Kellogg Garden Products
Phil Concan, Roadkyll Apparel Graphics
Colleen Mensel, Centennial Heritage Museum
David Ross, Walter Andersen Nursery
Ron Kanemoto, Yamagami's Nursery
Jennifer Van Diest, Blue Hills Nursery
Sharon Stolen, UCCE Master Gardeners
Gary Matsuoka, Laguna Hills Nursery
Ann Molloy, Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fertilizers
Nobo Azuma, YK Flora/HB-101
Ron Hamada, Batavia Garden Nursery
Chris Roy, Orange County Farm Supply
Stanley Szymczyk, Imperial Medical Management, Inc.
Joanne Fried, U-Haul International
Danny Dill, Howard Dill Enterprises
Mia McCarville, Cedros Gardens
Peter Yeager, GreenCure
Sharon and Bruce Asakawa, Garden Compass Media
Sam Ingardia, Ingardia Wholesale Produce
Greg Thiel, Hydrofarm
Milo Shammas, Dr. Earth
Cindy McNatt, Orange County Register
Diana Mathias, The Epoch Times
Casey N.E. Shim
Casey T. Shim
Mark Imhoof
Lauren Shim
Brian Gould
Jessie Chen
Christy Concan