At this time of year, I like to think about things to be thankful for. There’s family, friends, the chance to be in college, opportunities to garden, and of course, the harvest–the chance to cook and eat!
Growers painstakingly care for their prize vegetables. It is amazing what good science- in the form of seed selection and cultivation techniques- can do. Hobbyists save seeds from past prize winners, keep up to date on the latest soil science, turn their leaf mulch four times a year, spray baking soda and soap solutions for pest control after every rain, and on the way to the fair for the weigh-off, they cover their pumpkins in wet towels to hydrate, insulate, and mitigate weight loss due to evaporation. These guys know what their vegetables need!
And it pays off. Extreme gardeners are closing in on the 1 ton pumpkin!
The article above doesn’t mention the fate of the pumpkins after a weigh-off. Think of all that delicious pie! Competitive daikon, onion, summer squash, and rutabaga growers face the same question. I imagine great feasts of families and friends with daring recipes: rutubaga souffle, onionified french bread, daikon smoothies. Yes, it must end up being much like Thanksgiving. So I salute the extreme vegetable growers. A toast to hard work in the garden with a delicious payoff! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!