Friday, October 31, 2014

The 2014 Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest Results and Images!

(All photos by Stuart Shim unless noted otherwise.)
It was easy to spot where the weigh-off was located at Tanaka Farms

Banners hung in the weigh-off area

Mark Imhoof, Chief Technology Officer shows off his weighing sling for smaller entries

Chris Dunn, 2013 Pumpkinmania! Champion, arrived early to help
and to register his son, Kingston's, 2014 entry.

Glenn Tanaka, owner of Tanaka Farms, shows off his forklift skills

Mike Gray prepares his and his wife's Susan's 2014 entry for unloading

Michelle Shim shows off this year's T-shirt design.

 Photo by Rocky Doke
Photo by Rocky Doke
What if you build it and no one enters?

The Gallery of Girth!

Joshua Fredricks, 35 pounds, Youngest Grower
(Note the special sling!)

 Linda Hales, 95 pounds

Joseph Schaefer, 239.5 pounds, Ugliest Pumpkin
(Joseph works at Tanaka Farms. Since his boss was operating the forklift,
he intelligently decided to work his normal shift.)

Mae Powell, 256.5 pounds, Most Experienced Grower

 Perri Williams, 299.5 (let's call it 300) pounds

Mike Gray, 345.5 pounds, Funniest Shape

Kevin Donahue, 361 pounds

  Pat Mahoney, 490 pounds

Tom Rogers, 646 pounds, Best Color & Third Place

Kingston Dunn, 649.5 pounds, First to Register & Second Place

Jim Fredricks, 810 pounds, The 2014 Pumpkinmania!
Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest Champion!

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!
Yesterday morning's cool weather almost helped keep the temperature of this year's heated competition in check! After a brutal season that kept many growers at home, the stalwart faithful and lucky contestants dutifully made the pilgrimmage to Tanaka Farms to compete for glory, honor and $1,800 in cash prizes, and products and gift certificates.

In the end, Jim Fredricks of Santee, CA, last year's 2nd place finisher, and a previous Pumpkinmania Champion, regained the crowd and title of the biggest and baddest grower in the patch and $1,000.00 with his 810 pound entry.

Kingston Dunn, 6, of Lomita, squeaked by Tom Rogers of Mission Viejo with his 649.5 pounder to Tom's 646 pound entry, for second place. A surprised and gracious Tom, took third place and also Best Color.

All other participants received Neptune's Harvest fertilizer and highly sought caps, and Jiffy's seed germination kits.

Other winners included:
Funniest Shape, Mike and Susan Gray, Baldwin Park
Ugliest Pumpkin, Joseph Schaefer, Huntington Beach
Youngest Grower, Joshua Fredricks, 3, Santee
Most Experienced Grower, Mae Powell, Pasadena

For the Orange County Register article:

The management of Pumpkinmania! would like to recognize the following individuals and organizations for their support, understanding and hard work:

Tanaka Farms, Irvine, CA
Gardner & Bloome division of Kellogg Garden Products
The University of California Master Gardeners of Orange County
Philippe's The Original, Los Angeles, CA
Roadkyll Graphics and Screenprinting, Santa Ana, CA
Orange County Farm Supply, Orange, CA
Sheridan Gardens, Burbank, CA
Blue Hills Nursery, Whittier, CA
Batavia Gardens, Orange, CA
Farm Supply Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
U-Haul International, Phoenix, AZ
GreenCure, Inc., Conklin, NY
Neptune's Harvest, Gloucester, MA
Beaver Plastics, Alberta, Canada
The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA
Glenn Tanaka
Ken Tanaka
Ty Hall
Mark Imhoof
Phil Concan
Chris Dunn
Casey T. Shim
Casey Shim
Lauren Shim
Michelle Shim

Thank you very much!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 2014 Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest Details and Rules

Official design for the 2014 Pumpkinmania! Giant pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest
Courtesy and compliments of Roadkyll Graphics
(To pre-order your Official 2014 Pumpkinmania T-shirt for $10.00,
please e-mail Phil Concan at:

It's this Sunday!

What: The 2014 Pumpkinmania! Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Contest

Day/Date/Time: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
(Entry registration from 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m., weigh-off will begin at 11:30 a.m.)

Where: Tanaka Farms, 5380 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612, for directions/details.

Growers from all over Southern California and beyond will vie for $1,800.00 in cash and prizes including: Biggest Pumpkin, Best Color, Funniest Shape, Ugliest, Youngest, and Most Seasoned Grower and more.

Also, Mae Powell, perennial winner of Most Experienced Grower, veteran giant pumpkin cultivator, and media darling, will be promoting and signing her new book "Maezie's Pumpkin Patch" at this year's event!

Maezie's Pumpkin Patch detail


For more information, please visit:

Here are The Rules:

Contest 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 8:00 a.m.-11:00 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 seed cavity, chemical residue, soil should be wiped off, and no 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 and a potential ban for life from future Pumpkinmania! competitions.

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, damage, and/or death 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: and, media inquiries please call: (949) 683-5932.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ashley & Anthony's 2014 Season

Ashley & Anthony's 2014 Season!

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

In the pre and post Orange County Fair onion competition, I completely failed in getting this post and pictures up! Ashley and Anthony are growers in Dana Point that not only attended the workshop at Tanaka Farms, but also sought out extra seeds and seedlings to help out some children.

As you can see, Ashley is a photographer in addition to bein an avid gardener.

Here's their update from July 11th:

"Hi Stuart! I hope you and your family (and plants) are doing well! I got around to sending some pics today, the pumpkin seems to be doing well, it is about 22 inches across and 14 inches high currently. I can't lift it anymore as we were making small location adjustments. Growing at a consistent rate, I hope we keep going at this rate!! I have current pics and a few from earlier as well!
Ashley and Anthony"

Nice job!