Monday, May 17, 2010

Some of 500 giant pumpkin seedlings that were given away on Saturday, May 16, 2010!

Dr. Joe Sabol (right), giant pumpkin germinating wizard, gives selection tips to an early workshop arrival.
It was Chick Day at Farm Supply Company!

Some of the great door prizes that were given away by Farm Supply Company!

Some rough-looking, hard-riding, polka-dot wearing, desperadoes managed to attend the workshop!

Workshop attendees carefully select their giant pumpkin seedlings for the 2010 season!

Last thoughts before leaving San Luis Obispo!

I was accosted by a clerk at Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center for...taking pictures!
Interesting take on retailing, limit publicity!

Consequently, I've limited the number of images of their store.

The class clowns are in the front row!

In the 805: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria!

Good afternoon!

Back from a whirlwind week-end in the 805 area code! Lauren, Michelle and I started our epic, first-time, overnight road trip Friday, May 14th departing from South Orange County at 4:30 p.m.. Traffic on the 405 north to the 101 north was pretty challenging. It took us roughly 5 hours to reach Ventura. Fortunately, after a diaper change and dinner, the remainder of the drive was quick. We arrived in Morro Bay about 11:30 p.m..

We had breakfast at Kitty's Diner Saturday morning, and then we drove back to Farm Supply Company, in San Luis Obispo, for the first workshop of the week-end. The Farm Supply Company workshop was highlighted by bumping into Dr. Joe Sabol, giant pumpkin seed germinator supreme, who was dropping off the last giant pumpkin seedlings before officiating a wedding. In addition, I got to meet some of Dr. Sabol's team, which included two additional PhDs! How's that for educational/intellectual firepower! Cara Crye and Jandy Johnson did an excellent job with this year's workshop. Look how happy their workshop attendees were! The Farm Supply Company workshop attendees happily selected their seedlings after the door prize drawing. We enjoyed looking around The Farm Supply Company's chick display and taking pictures of Michelle sitting in a saddle and then we headed south to Carpinteria.

Sunday morning, we headed into Santa Barbara for breakfast at Esau's Cafe' and then drove to Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center. After the workshop at SBHIC, we drove back to Carpinteria, and had just enough time to catch a quick lunch at The Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, Luckily, we saw some players warming up, and Michelle saw real horses up close for the first time.

It's always great to visit Island View Nursery for any reason, and yesterday was no exception. Katie Sorensen's staff did a wonderful job with the workshop set-up as usual, and the nursery looked great. It did get a bit chilly in the afternoon, which limited attendance some. Still, the attendees that braved the cool weather received some giant pumpkin seedlings and a great tip for dealing with gophers: The Blackhole Rodent trap! One of the veteran workshop attendees (and grower) said that he had trapped 258 gophers to date, and no longer has a problem with them! (Naturally, this rodent trap has been listed on the Giant Pumpkin Growing Resources at the bottom of this website.) The afternoon was topped off by a surprise visit from Chris and Lisa Cullen of the "Garden Gossip" radio show and the owners of Montecito Landscape,, celebrating 40 years in business this year!

This week-end I'll be in Orange, CA, so close to home for a change! Hope to see you at either Orange County Farm Supply, 1826 W. Chapman Avenue, (714) 978-6500,, at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, or 10:00 a.m. on Sunday at Batavia Garden, 1730 North Batavia Street, (714) 637-2360. For more details, please visit the March 18, 2010 posting on this website or visit the on-line calendar at and search for events happening May 22nd and May 23rd !

See you soon!