My brother Dave is a bit eccentric like Doc Emmett Brown from Back to the Future. Like Doc Brown, Dave is an intelligent inventor. Dave has several ambitious, ongoing projects like bouncing radio signals off the moon, developing radio communications using lightbulbs as antennae, and communicating with the International Space Station.
When Dave is involved in a project he does the research and becomes very knowledgeable. Often he pushes boundaries of “the envelope.” Growing giant pumpkins is one of his intense projects. This story is Part I about this 2019 adventure.
This Summer, Dave is growing pumpkins in his front yard in Flat Rock, North Carolina. These are not just any pumpkins like those for carving or cooking. These pumpkins are giants that will weigh hundreds of pounds when they mature in a few months.
This isn’t his rookie season for growing these monsters. Prior to living in North Carolina, in 2012 he grew “Angee Punkin” (yes, he names his gourds) to almost 400 pounds while living in Connecticut (see the photo below). She even had her own Facebook page!
The pumpkins began from seeds indoors in the Spring and were eventually planted in his yard. He has his secret witches brew (our Salem witch ancestor would be proud) that he starts the youngins on. And as the vines grow, they get treated to a sanitized cow manure growth medium, automatic misting, and soft music. Once a gourd develops, it gets an umbrella to protect it from intense heat.
As pumpkins spring from the flowers on the vines, it isn’t unusual for them to put on several pounds each day. And every other day Dave posts their growth on Facebook in his report from the patch. There are currently five pumpkins growing in Dave’s pumpkin patch. His goal is to raise a pumpkin exceeding 500 pounds.
Yesterday was Day 28 in the patch. As I said previously, Dave names his pumpkins. Bevis and Catlyn have shown growth spurts. And Kylie and Butthead are showing steady progress to become chubby but Kim appears to be taking a break in her growth. We will soon see if that continues and what Dave decides to do about it.
This story is intentionally posted as “Part I” because Dave is not the only one in his neighborhood growing these giants. Part II of this story describes the friendly competition and the hope being placed on the pumpkin appropriately named “Hope” which just surpassed the 85 pound mark in her infancy!