Thursday, June 23, 2011

A New Cultivation Method!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

My long-time compadre and relatively new San Diego-based giant pumpkin grower, Rob is trying to coax his plants to grow by simple bribery as you can see in the image above.

So far, the plants have not responded to $1 or $2 dollar bills, so Rob has upped the ante to $5.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice!

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

Here we are, the longest day/shortest night of the year, and first day of summer.

For a more in-depth look at the summer solstice, I found following information on

Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

As a major celestial event, the summer solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.
Early Celebrations
Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer otherwise known as the summer solstice, Midsummer, St. John's Day, or the Wiccan Litha.

The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun's energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light.

Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth", resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June.

Today, the day is still celebrated around the world - most notably in England at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the summer solstice.

Pagan spirit gatherings or festivals are also common in June, when groups assemble to light a sacred fire, and stay up all night to welcome the dawn.

Summer Solstice Fun Facts

Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the summer solstice.

Ancient pagans celebrated midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.

Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Celebrating the planting

Full Moon Transplanting at the
Huntington Beach Community Garden

Good eveing, Pumpkinistas!

The folks at the Huntington Beach Community Garden took advantage of Wednesday, June 15th's full Strawberry Moon to launch their first season of giant pumpkin cultivation. Four pedigreed seedlings were planted in a very nicely fenced in and well-amended open growing area at roughly 7:10 p.m. as part of the group's educational program.

See you can see the results above!

 State of the Patch

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

This season's patch is doing better after a reduction in watering. There are still 3 plants in the mound so the Big Decision time approaches. Which one to keep, which ones to sacrifice?