Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

I am often asked, where can I get pedigreed giant pumpkin seeds? Well, here's a great opportunity to purchase some great giant pumpkin seeds at a very reasonable price!

"The Prince Edward County Pumpkin Growers (PECPG) are pleased to bring you their best seed offer ever. This is our main fund-raiser for the year. All proceeds go directly to fund the Wellington Weigh-Off. This year’s package includes 15 seeds!

Each set is $50.00 CDN or $50 USD for international customers (plus a $5 per order shipping and handling fee). That’s less than $4 per seed folks!

In addition, we are offering a limited number of proven seeds for sale individually. If you are not already a member of PECPG your purchase will include copies of the fall and spring newsletters.

To Order Seeds:

1) Please send an e-mail to John Vincent at: or phone 613-476-0405, requesting your set and/or any proven seeds you would like.

2) Await a return e-mail giving you confirmation that a set of seeds has been reserved for you and, if available, your proven seeds.

3) At that time you will be given instructions for mailing your cheque or money order, and the total of your purchase. We will have PayPal by e-mail available (in this case you will be invoiced by email).

Prince Edward County Pumpkin Growers 2009 Seed Package:
1 Seed
1339.5 Vincent-McGill '09
A, BFemale: 904 Stelts '06Male: 998 Pukos '05Note: New Prince Edward County Record. 9% heavy, pollinating plant grew 1127lbs. Both 904 and 998 have grown 1600+ pumpkins.

2 Seeds
1185.8 Kline '09
AFemale: 1385 Jutras '07Male: 985 Werner '06Note: 1st place at Wellington in 09, 6% heavy. A cross of two of today’s top seeds. 1385 grew the 1725 World Record!

2 Seeds
1059.6 Vincent-McGill '09
AFemale: 993.6 Vincent-McGill '08 Male: 904 Stelts '06 Note: Howard Dill and Bill Greer Memorial Award winners. Super orange, symmetrical pumpkin. Pollinating plant grew new PEC record 1339.5 lb +9%.

2 Seeds
1043.4 Joynson '09
AFemale: 1056 Joynson '08 Male: 998 Pukos '05 Note: 6% Heavy, Pollinator grew the 1689 Jutras World Record. Pollinating Plant grew 1150 4% heavy.

2 Seeds
1019.4 Sproule '09
AFemale: 1472.5 Werner '08 Male: 1142 van Kooten '04 Note: 7% Heavy, Pollinator grew the 1536 vanKooten, 2008 World Champion

2 Seeds
979.4 Huffman '09
AFemale: 1385 Jutras '07Male: 847 Vader Note: Grown by 4-H member Glen Huffman, 10% Heavy. Same seed that grew the 1725 Harp 2009 World Record.

2 Seeds
925 Lyons '09Female: 1689 Jutras '07 Male: 985 Werner '06 Note: Chris lost half the plant to wilt in early August. This plant was the Lyons main pollinator in 09.1689 was the 2007 World Record!

2 Seeds
1263 Pitura '07
A, B, CFemale: 1093 Hunt 2006 Male: 1219 Colbert 2006 Note: Proven seed. First Place at Wellington 2007, Grew 1229 Sundin & 1152 Vader 08

Note: Only 50 of these sets are being offered. There are a limited number of proven seeds available below that you can add to your order. These will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.

Proven Seeds Available

1343.5 Lyons '08 AFemale: 1385 Jutras '07 Male: 1470 Wallace '07 Note: Grew 1410 Meier '09, Swiss Pumpkin Record, and 3 others over 1000 lbs first year out! $30/seed

1229 Sundin '08 AFemale: 1263 Pitura '07 Male: 1388 LaRue '07Note: Grew 1451.5 Sundin, second largest pumpkin in Canada in 2009$30/seed
Proven Orange Producer

993.2 Vincent-McGill '08 AFemale: 772 Poirier '06 Male: 998 Pukos '05 Note: Dark red orange and perfectly shaped and 2% heavy, pollinating plant grew 1170 lbs. Howard Dill Award Winner!$30/seed

1156 Hunt '08 AFemale: 1631.5 McKie '07 Male: 1689 Jutras '07 Note: Grew 1250 Vincent-McGill '09. These are very limited. Sorry folks only one per order. $20.00/seed

850 Slusarek '07 DMG AFemale: 998 Pukos '05 Male: 1068 Wallace '03 Note: Grew the 1343.4 Sproule '08$15.00/seed

1378.5 Pitura '07 A, B, CFemale: 1039 Leonard '04 Male: 1231 Pukos '05 Note: Largest Pumpkin grown in Canada in 2007. Grew 1331 Preis '08 +19% (Denmark Record), 1080 Vader '08, 806.6 Wursten '08 +20% $15.00/seed

1263 Pitura '07 A, B, CFemale: 1093 Hunt '06 Male: 1219 Colbert '06 Note: Grew 1229 Sundin & 1152 Vader '08 $10.00/2 seeds

1012 Pitura '06* A, B, CFemale: 1055 Pitura '06* Male: 1231 Pukos '05 Note: Grew the 1310 Pitura '08 pumpkin! Pollinating plant grew 1346 Pitura '06 dmg$10.00/seed

1057.5 Vader '04 AFemale: 1097 Beachy '02 Male: 778.6 Vader '02 Note: Grew the 1091.5 Vader '07 (26% Heavy) & the 956.5 Giffen '06. Heavy and Orange producer!$10.00/2 seeds

Proven Squash Seeds

1132 Vincent-McGill '08*Female: 995 Vincent-McGill '07* Male: 824 Brunst* Note: Grew 1037 Sundin '09*, Average top 5 variance 11.76% heavy$15.00/seed
Promising 09 Seeds Available

1236 Vincent-McGill '09* A, BFemale: 800 Neily '07* Male: 1132 Vincent-McGill '08* Note: World Record Squash, 9% heavy. Pollinator top 5 average +11.76% $30.00/seed

1451.5 Sundin '09 AFemale: 1229 Sundin '08 Male: 1343 Lyons '08Note: 2nd largest Pumpkin Grown in Canada in 2009, Pollinator grew new European Record 1410 Meier +5% (Switzerland).$20/seed

1120 Sundin '09Female: 1343 Lyons '08Male: SelfNote: Very solid pumpkin with no internal cracks. In the Sundin 2010 line up!$10/seed

All are subject to availability. We (PECPG) reserve the right to limit quantities on some seeds."
In the interest in fair-play and full disclosure, I have already reserved and purchased one of these 50 2009 seed packets. Some are still available. So, you have been warned.
In addition, this complimentary posting is being placed as a courtesy to the Prince Edward County Pumpkin Growers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Author, Dr. Jane S. Smith

The Garden of Invention: Book review and author interview

Hello, Pumpkinistas!
In my never-ending quest for knowledge and the science of giant pumpkin cultivation, I recently read and reviewed this book and interviewed the author, Dr. Jane S. Smith, for a recent issue of Gardening Thymes, the monthly newsletter of the University of California Cooperative Extension Certified Master Gardeners. Naturally, there are some practices that Luther Burbank developed that can be applied to giant pumpkins.

The Garden of Invention, Luther Burbank and the Business
of Breeding Plants, Jane S. Smith, Penguin Press,
New York, 2009, 354 pages, ISBN 978-1-59420-209-4.
Dr. Jane S. Smith has written a fascinating,
comprehensive and intriguing account
of the life, thoughts and achievements
of Luther Burbank, the famed plant
breeder and experimenter of Santa Rosa,
California. Dr. Smith, who holds a PhD
from Yale University, and taught at
Northwestern University, leads the reader on a fast-paced
account of Burbank's early years in Lunenberg, MA,
through his move to and subsequent world-wide acclaim
in California. Smith also writes about Burbank's experiences
as a lecturer at Stanford, the challenges of being a
Carnegie Institution grant recipient, and his associations
and friendships with other business luminaries of the era
including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone.
"The Garden of Invention" is a special treat for the
avid California gardener and a valuable resource for anyone
who has wondered how plants were bred in the late
19th and early 20th centuries. For more information visit:
The author graciously responded to some questions about
Luther Burbank and her own gardening experiences:

SS: What was the most interesting thing that you learned
about Luther Burbank during the research and writing of
this book?
JSS: I was fascinated by how many of Burbank's ideas
that got him into trouble with scientists
of his day--from the possibility
of breeding a hybrid that would reproduce
to the impact of talking to
your plants--have since been proven
correct. Burbank never stopped being
a popular hero, but for a time his
'unscientific' methods cast a shadow
on his real achievements.
SS: Have you been inspired or motivated to try growing
any plants yourself after writing this book? If so, which
plants, trees or vegetables and why? Or, have you always
been a gardener? If so, what are some of the plants you
like growing the most and why?
JSS: My gardening started in nursery school, when I
planted lima beans in a milk carton, to sprout on the window
sill. I still don't have the space (or the patience, alas)
to emulate Burbank's experiments, but writing The Garden
of Invention made me more adventurous than ever in
the garden--putting vegetables in the flowerbeds, saving
seeds to see what the next generation would look like, and
even taking a grafting class to create fruit trees I then had
to give away, because I had no place to grow them!
SS: Do you have any future gardening, horticulture, or
botany related projects in mind?
JSS: I'm starting my research for a book on the origins of
plants that end up in public conservatories.
SS: What was so intriguing about the debate in the garden
in Italy that made you decide to write a book about
Luther Burbank?
JSS: A group of very smart people were arguing about
whether new plant varieties were going to save the world,
or ruin it, but with no sense of history. After all, there was
a lot that happened between Mother Nature and Monsanto.
In all my writing, I like to look back at the past to
see the road to where we are today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Photo courtesy of Michelle Lofthouse
2010 Premium Seeds Now Available!
Good morning, Pumpkinistas!
Yes, it's that time of year again! I just checked the website, and the 2010 Premium Seed lists with availability and seed ordering instructions are posted. Prices range from $7.00 to $50.00 depending on the lineage/breeding/genetics of the seed. The most desireable seeds have a tendency to go quickly, so to the swift, go the spoils.
Good luck this season!

Gina & Gary Williams: Still in the mix...

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

Gina and Gary Williams, winners of the Best Color prize category in the 2009 Pumpkinmania! contest, sent in these images of their vine taken at the end of December. This is one of the reasons people move to Southern California, a year 'round growing season.

Good luck!