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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 65 Entries.
Friday, February 17 View Page
Ahhh itís been a long dreary winter around here. Itís with a heavy heart that I have to announce our family lost our matriarch earlier this month. Itís a sad time to lose a parent and something we all go through. One of lifeís sad lessons. Mom will be missed. She loved the garden and loved to help with my gardening activities when she could. Hell she was the reason behind the famous MOMATE tomato. Rest In Peace mom and keep an eye on me while Iím in the garden please,I will be thinking of you.
Thursday, March 16 View Page
Come on Spring already !! The sun is getting stronger but we still have the white stuff on the ground. I get great sunrises from my house to overlook my frozen patch.
Thursday, March 16 View Page
I keep in touch with my Florida grower friend Tim Canniff and gave him some of my 839 seeds to try this year. Itís been fun to follow along the last couple of months.
Thursday, March 16 View Page
He has challenges in Florida, with most dealing with the timing of fruit growth and the heat issues.
Thursday, March 16 View Page
The 839 seems to like his patch and it began to stretch out with females showing up to the party.
Thursday, March 16 View Page
Timís patch isnít the biggest but he is working hard. To date he lost the second female he pollinated but at day 14 it looks like number one is hanging in there. He only had one male flower to work with but so far so good. Good luck Tim. The 839 should give him an Orange one.
Thursday, March 23 View Page
Update on Florida Timís 839. Looking good Tim at day 22. I can see the shape changing. Since itís cold in Pa and I can only watch so many YouTube videos itís great to follow along to see what your own seed is gonna do.
Thursday, March 23 View Page
Todd had good luck with his 839 so maybe you will get the same Orange color. I gave out most of my seeds to requests and the NewYork growers club so there should be a few grown this year. I see there will be one in Poland as well. Thanks Todd for putting it on the map.
Thursday, March 23 View Page
Hell maybe I can get the teacher to take on another pupil. Hey thatís me. I chatted up Pork to let me in on some of the feeding schedule last year and Chop being Chop he obliged. So I relayed it to Tim. Letís do this. Thanks Porkchop.
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Florida Timís weekly 839 update. So far so good and she is starting to swell at day 26. The plant is looking healthy and filling in. Pedal down now Tim !!
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Looking good !!
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Oh yeah. She is looking pretty !!!!
Wednesday, March 29 View Page
Day 30 approaching on Timís 839. Keep up the good work Tim. The golden girl seems to be liking the Tropicana sun of Florida. You can send some of that sunshine Pennsylvaniaís way. I have work to do in the patch and another dusting of snow on the way tonight.
Wednesday, March 29 View Page
Tim works for a commercial bait company when he isnít working in the patch. 41 thousand pounds of bait on their last trip.
Wednesday, March 29 View Page
Hey maybe he can make some good fertilizer out of that herring.
Thursday, March 30 View Page
Day 30 for Timís 839 and she looks to be around 300 pounds. So far so good and time to keep it cruising along. Itís funny Tim will be hoping for some cooler temps the next couple of months to not cook his pumpkin where here in Pa we need some warmer weather and need it now.
Thursday, March 30 View Page
I had a load of Perlite delivered this morning on my home patch. Cheap help these days and they spread it everywhere.
Tuesday, April 4 View Page
I got a crazy idea to extend my patch 20 feet or so and reclaim some of my border that has grown in over the years. Now I really have work to do.
Tuesday, April 4 View Page
Maybe one day I will head south for the winter but not anytime soon. At least I have a pumpkin seed there. Timís 839 seems to be liking the climate.
Sunday, April 9 View Page
Happy Easter everybody ! Finally some warmer weather has found Pennsylvania. Tim reported the 839 is moving at a good pace. Day 40 today.
Sunday, April 9 View Page
Thatís no Easter Egg under there.
Sunday, April 9 View Page
600 pounds today. Hey Tim you should have a PB by the end of the week and then letís run down that State Record. Keep it rolling.
Tuesday, April 11 View Page
Peek a boo from Florida.
Tuesday, April 11 View Page
Now there is a rare sight. A beautiful Pumpkin growing with Palm Trees in the background. Hello there Sunshine ! Where is the Corona, Tim?
Thursday, April 13 View Page
Day 44. Tim is fighting the challenges of Florida growing. Dodged torrential downpours that hit the state but dealt with gale force winds. These AGís are tough and the 839 is still chugging along.
Monday, April 24 View Page
Itís getting closer to go time so I better get moving. Ordered some good poop compost. Itís amazing how a big pile of poop can make one happy
Monday, April 24 View Page
What really can make a man happy is one of these toys. Yes Val was officially named ďWife of the YearĒ she went above and beyond at Christmas time. Maybe she was worried about my titanium hips giving out with my hand tilling the patch, but wow. This BX is going to be fun to play with.
Monday, April 24 View Page
The tilling had never been so easy.
Monday, April 24 View Page
Thank you Val !!!! Our best Green Acres pose.
Monday, April 24 View Page
Of course I had to expand the edges a bit. Now we have a great patch view from our front porch. Life is Good.
Monday, April 24 View Page
With the warmer temps it is easy to want to rush things. My first round germinations are up and doing well. Now I will have to figure out how to hold them a while as cooler temps are in the forecast.
Monday, April 24 View Page
I checked in with Florida Tim on our weekly update to see how the 839 is rolling. And rolling she is. Even with lots of battered leaves from some high wind conditions the orange beauty is still putting some pounds on. I love the money picture with palm trees in the background.
Monday, April 24 View Page
Day 54 and the Florida State record could be in jeopardy. With a little luck and if the fruit stays sound with some slow steady growth Tim has a legitimate chance to claim the record. Keep her rolling Tim! What a Beauty !
Thursday, April 27 View Page
Looking more like the Florida record is in serious trouble.
Saturday, April 29 View Page
Timís Florida weather is looking pretty good. Mother Nature has not blessed Pennsylvania with this forecast. Uggggh
Friday, May 5 View Page
Last pics I have of Florida Timís 839 before she gets weighed tomorrow. Tim is chasing a State record and I posted a guess the weight contest today. He has his fingers crossed. The media has heard about the big orange globe and will be there along with a county Agriculture rep to witness the certified scale and events. Hell Donald and Melania were invited. It seems strange to be doing this in May but so it is to be growing in the Sunshine state. Good luck to Sadie the pretty lady, heres hoping that your junk in the trunk goes heavy.
Friday, May 5 View Page
I found this picture that my then 8 year old daughter Lauren drew for me. It reminds me of Tim as he has to figure out how the hell he is gonna get that pumpkin out of his backyard garden.
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Ahhh weigh day for Tim and his 839. Letís see how are we gonna lift Pretty Sadie out of the patch. Maybe Tim can rig up a sling. He must have a few things laying around the docks.
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Timís a good MaGiver. I thought it was a lobster trap !
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Now bring over some heavy equipment.
Sunday, May 7 View Page
We can do this ! Bottom good, pumpkin solid!
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Tim had to be getting some looks in his Florida coast town.
Sunday, May 7 View Page
On to the Killer Bait operation and the certified scales. His buddy posed for some pics. Tim kept me in suspense for quiet a while without telling me the number.
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Gotta put a kid on a big pumpkin. Sadie looked good !
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Come on Tim get in one photo. He has the floppy hat going on.
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Boom a dream of Timís became a reality. His first 4 digit fruit. Boom the State record was smashed. 1039 !!!! More pics to follow with Tim ! Itís a very good looking pumpkin and quite an accomplishment for a grow in some extreme conditions. Hey Cindy maybe you can convince Tim to interview for an article. Porkchop said he should load it up and drive all over the state ! I said hey Tim ď are you going to Disney WorldĒ. He said Iím having a few beers and ďgoing FishingĒ. Well done! Congrats you Ole Sea Dog. Thanks for sharing your journey with me. Itís been fun !
Sunday, May 7 View Page
And the pumpkin world has a new Member. Marv Meisner gave this to me many moons ago.
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
Oh boy I better get caught up a bit, at least for my records if nothing else. My plants had been in the, ďnot doing much stageĒ like a lot of the Northeast growers with all of the record cold nights we had this May. They definitely are turning the corner now with the warmer temps this week. These are my 2 best at the moment. The 1952 Kogut has a 3 foot main now.
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
And my 839 is looking good too. You can surely see the benefits of the growers that use the soil heating cables. This year we had exceptionally cold nighttime temps around here and it has been a slow start.
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
I have work to do. The tomatoes are in good size containers and will be going in this weekendÖ. Hopefully. I still have a lot of patch work to do to get things in shape. The plants will be outgrowing their small cloches in a few days so there is no time to waste. My better seeds had some germination issues and I started a bit late so my first stringers are a lot of my own seeds. Team 8 will be ready to roll though !!
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
Val and I were away for a few days to Virginia tech. Blacksburg is a great place and we had the honor to witness my son Alex present his defense for his Phd. It was quite an experience and I was one proud father as it was announced he was now officially a Doctor. His dissertation was in the population genetics and study of the American chestnut tree as they work hard for its restoration. It seems like yesterday he made Don Langevins Giant Pumpkin Book III as he helped me measure our 2001 pumpkin. Congrats Alex!! He is now off to Cornell to continue his work.
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
Iím doing the straw bale garden again and seeing if I can stretch last years bales for another year. I think itís gonna work. I put some new bales next to the old ones so it will be easy to compare.
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
Ok thatís a good update. Now to get the garden moving. Things need to pick up the pace if I want a June pollination. And the Zeke Tomato challenge is on !! It looks to be stiff competition by the looks of the teams. Team 8 does have an international flair with Spains Westham joining me and Bravo to take on Porkchop and his Team Cheater squad and the other competition in the draft division. We are the MasterMaters and if all goes well the cup should be ours. I even repainted my boat to celebrate the team challenge. Bravo and I can check on Westham if we need to take a ride over there.
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
If there are any college softball fans out there be sure to tune in starting tomorrow night. My cousin Kathryn has had a banner senior season and the Florida state Seminoleís made it to the college World Series again this year. They are on tomorrow night against Oklahoma state on ESPN. These girls can play.
Thursday, June 1 View Page
I see there are a few of my 839ís seeing some dirt. It will be fun to follow along as there more than a few top shelf growers giving it a run this season. Florida Tim has had some fun with the media attention he got from his 1039 and a new Florida State record. It was a beauty and grown in 67 days. He only has one male flower to pollinate and his other attempts all aborted so it was all or nothing with his golden girl. That one male produced over 700 seeds as well!
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Coooool temps are still in the Northeast. I still have 2 plants in their mini houses. The forecast is calling for highs in the 60ís for Thursday and Friday and low 40í nighttime temps. Itís good sleeping weather but not great pumpkin growing temps.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
2 of my better plants have stretched out of their cloches. This is the 1952 Kogut.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
I had received a nice gift from Florida Tim Caniff as a thank you for the 839 seed and the season support while he grew his state record. The pumpkin growing community is a wonderful group. Thank you Tim ! I like this new tool.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
While most growers are taking down their hoop houses I was putting some up to hopefully generate some heat in these cold temps. The star of my patch so far is my 839. It has a lot of room to roam so I have big hopes if all goes well. Thanks for sharing your baby pic John but no babies here yet.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
My straw bale project is liking these temps !
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Last years bales may be doing better than the new bales.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Cousin Kathryn and the Florida State NOLES are rolling. On to the Championship to see if they can put an end to Oklahomas 51 game winning streak. Tomorrow night at 8 on ESPN is game 1. It should be a good one.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Itís been tough to find the time to get some maters in the ground. I guess the soil is warming up enough now. Hey a lightbulb went off. Instead of leaving my mini cold frames just lay around I think I will put them to work. Letís see if they do ok in their happy homes.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
I am gonna put a couple at each corner as well. Amended with some treats.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
And I officially have something in the ground. Letís grow, MasterMaters !!

 

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