Monday, September 22, 2008

(Photo by Lauren Shim, automatically disqualified for her affiliation to Pumpkinmania.)
Announcing the 2008 Pumpkinmania
International Digital Photography Competition!

I am very proud to announce a new competition!

COMPETITION: The 2008 Pumpkinmania International Digital Photography Competition is open to all photographers at least 7 years of age, except Pumpkinmania management, sponsors, staff and their immediate families. Your entry to the contest constitutes your agreement to allow your photographs — and your first name, city, state of residence, when applicable, and country — to be published as selected award winners on the website published or used on websites by Pumpkinmania and used for promotions of Pumpkinmania including, but not limited to, exhibitions, a photo contest calendar, a compilation book or electronic collection of photographs, online photo features and contests, and web pages providing Pumpkinmania information, updates, rules, photography and gardening tips. Entrants retain ownership and all other rights to future use of their photographs.
Divisions: Photographers must enter their images in one of the following divisions.Open- Part-time professional photographers, beginning or amateur photographers at least 18 years of age, and other photographers who do not receive a major part of their income from photography. Youth - Young photographers aged 7 to 17.
Legal conditions: By entering these awards, you agree to these entry rules, and the following legal conditions.
By entering, participants warrant that his or her entry materials are original, do not infringe on any third party's rights, and that participant has obtained any necessary permissions from any third party if a third party or third party's property appears in the photograph. Pumpkinmania reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it finds in its sole discretion that any of the foregoing warranties are not true. Decisions of Pumpkinmania shall be final and binding.
By entering, participants release and hold harmless Pumpkinmania its respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand or damage of any kind rising from or in connection with the Pumpkinmania, or any prize won, any use of the entry materials by Pumpkinmania, the warranties participants make, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any Pumpkinmania-related activity.
Participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved with Pumpkinmania, and causes of action arising out of or connected with Pumpkinmania, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, before a court of competent jurisdiction located in Orange County, California, which court shall apply the laws of the state of California without regard for rules of conflicts of law. In any such dispute, participant shall, under no circumstances, be entitled to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys' fees, other than participant's actual out-of-pocket expenses (if any) associated with participating in Pumpkinmania. Participant hereby waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
Any attempt by an entrant or other individual to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of Pumpkinmania is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, Pumpkinmania reserve the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Pumpkinmania is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the competition, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to the competition, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. Pumpkinmania assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries Pumpkinmania is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer on-line systems, software, or failure of email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, including injury or damage to participant's or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the competition.
If, for any reason, Pumpkinmania is not capable of completion as planned, including, but not limited to, by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of Pumpkinmania that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of Pumpkinmania, Pumpkinmania reserve the right at their sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the competition.
In no event will Pumpkinmania, their advertising and promotional agencies, or their directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents and representatives be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of participant's access to and use of the Pumpkinmania website or the downloading or uploading and/or printing of material from said sites. Without limiting the foregoing, everything on the Pumpkinmania site is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Some jurisdictions may not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages, so some of the foregoing limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. Check your local laws for any restrictions or limitations regarding these limitations or exclusions.
All decisions by the Pumpkinmania judges will be final and binding.
WHAT: We are looking for unique, interesting and intriguing images of nature, vegetables and people on land and autumns from anywhere in the world. These images may show animal behavior, plant life, landscapes and gardens, weather or people interacting with nature and their gardens. Clearly label in digital caption information, title, photographer name, age, division and/or category, city, state, country. Previously published material may not be entered. Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.
Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person or submit images that involve the willful harassment of people, pets, plants or damage to the environment by the photographer. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, adjustments to color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.
WHEN: Deadline for submitting entries is October 25th. Online entries can be uploaded starting September 30th, 2008, and must be uploaded no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Saving Time on October 25th, 2008. E-mail your entries to:
WHY: Prizes will be awarded as described below. A selection of entries will appear website. Winning images will also appear.
PRIZES: Prizes will be awarded to one winning image in each category for the Open division, for a total of two prizes, and one winning image in the Youth division, for one prize.

A. Open Division Categories/Themes
1. My Pumpkin & Me-$25 Gift certificate
2. Autumn-$25 Gift certificate

B. Youth Division Category/Theme
1. My Favorite Pumpkin-$25 Gift certificate

JUDGES: The Senior Management of Pumpkinmania and or/their designates.
HOW: Each participant may submit up to 4 photographs total. Entrants must designate the appropriate division in which all their images are to be judged. Images must also be entered in a category/theme (except Youth division) for the Open Division. Photographers may enter all entries in a single category or select different categories as long as the total submission does not exceed 4 photographs. Entries must be in low-resolution JPEG digital format. Please e-mail your entries to:
Questions and inquiries can be emailed to

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The 2008 Pumpkinmania Giant Pumpkin
Weigh-off & Contest!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

I'm proud to announce the details for this year's weigh-off:

Event: The 2008 Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest

Day/date/time: Sunday, October 26, 2008, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., entry and grower registration from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., final weigh-off begins at 12:00 noon.

Location: Centennial Heritage Museum, 3101 West Harvard Street, Santa Ana, CA 92704,, for map and directions.

Price: Free to enter, free to attend!

Prizes: Heaviest Pumpkin, First Place, $1,000, Second Place, $500, Third Place, $300, courtesy of Gardner & Bloome division of Kellogg Garden Products. Prizes will be also awarded for Best Color, Funniest Shape, Youngest Grower, Most Experienced Grower, Most Classic Pumpkin, and many more.

Activities: Children face-painting, Victorian tea, blacksmithing demonstrations, Guess the Weight of The Three Heaviest Pumpkins, and more.

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.

Additional details: Please visit:, or e-mail:, media inquiries please call: (949) 683-5932.

(Pictured above, "Hope" and Stuart Shim, Giant Pumpkin Kahuna and Grower, photo by Lauren Shim)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Proven Winners Pack Trials and Open House!

Hello Growers!

At the invitation of Bruce and Sharon Asakawa and John Bagnasco of Garden Compass media,, the UCCE Certified Master Gardeners of Orange County, made the drive to Bonsall, CA, for the Proven Winners Pack Trials and Open House, on Saturday, September 6, 2008, It was a spectacular morning, clear blue skies, warm, with an occasional breeze. I'd never been to the Proven Winners facility, and so I was very curious to see what they do there. In addition to the comprehensive and well-labeled demonstration gardens, and plant sale areas, there were speakers on various topics, including how a plant becomes a Proven Winner selection, and Designing with Succulents with Debra Lee Baldwin, garden writer,

I am normally not a big buyer at these kinds of events. But, I fell victim to temptation and picked up a number of agaves from the Proven Winners Retro succulent collection for a frontyard landscape project in Las Vegas. I've already transplanted the offsets from these plants, and will cultivate them over the next 11-12 months.
If you have a chance to attend this event, I suggest you accept the invitation and go!