Thursday, October 8, 2015

Only in Bucks County: Monster Pumpkin Madness

   For me, Fall means choosing a ten to fifteen pound pumpkin and setting it out by the front door-- perhaps with a few mum plants and a festive wreath. For others, Fall is harvest time for the giant pumpkins they have been growing since the first day of Spring. And I don't mean the occasional fifty-pounder that every kid wants to bring home from the local pumpkin patch... some of these puppies weigh close to 1,000 pounds!
Last weekend I attended Monster Pumpkin Madness at Delaware Valley University's farm market. The Market at Del Val is an official weigh station for the Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth, which promotes the hobby of growing giant pumpkins and recognizes growers for their achievement.
Competitors from all over the area brought their prize pumpkins to compete in a weigh-off, and in other categories. We got to see the giant pumpkins up close, and had the opportunity to chat with a few of the growers. 

The heaviest pumpkin I saw at the weigh in was 952 pounds. Each one had to be carefully forklifted  and placed on the oversized scale, which took time and effort. The Market's manager, Rob Arcidiaonco confirmed that the heaviest pumpkin, which was weighed after I left, weighed in excess of 1,500 pounds! I was also informed by David Fleming, co-owner of The Market at Del Val, that there were state records set that day as well, for New Jersey and Delaware. 
So... the largest grown pumpkin in each of those states was at this interesting event!
Here are some photos of Shane Miller's 805 lb pumpkin being moved then weighed,
 from start to finish:


Congratulations Shane!!
Giant pumpkin growing isn't just for farmers or experienced growers! These two grew a giant pumpkin too. Their 600 pounder will be donated to a farm near their New Jersey home to help feed the pigs.
Apparently, pigs LOVE pumpkin!
John Schevet's 818 pounder!
                             Congratulations John!
The Market at Del Val U offers Fall fun every weekend and of course we enjoyed that along with seeing all of the oversized pumpkins. The highlight of my day was wandering through the giant corn maze right next to the market! Others enjoyed wagon rides through the apple orchards and the animal education tent. It was an afternoon that I think any couple or family would enjoy. Click here for The Market's Fall Fun schedule for the remainder of the season.

The highly coveted first place trophy

"As a spiritual person, nature for me has always been a healing place."
~David Mixner


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