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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 140 Entries.
Monday, January 2 View Page
Itís nice to be able to go on a short hike. The Achilles tear was a whopper of an injury to have to overcome. Now that it is better I add super grateful and relieved. Needless to say I donít think I will be getting involved in any intense games of basketball any time soon. Not worth it.
Monday, January 2 View Page
Photo of lake waramaug in Washington ct
Monday, January 2 View Page
The big field at the beginning of the hike. I feel like I am out west. Lol
Tuesday, January 17 View Page
I just read Travis Gienger's interview. What a fantastic interview with such great insight. One thing that his interview brought to my mind. Is that Travis mentions he grows on sand and that he improved his soil by adding organic matter. Sandy well drained soils are very adaptable and in my opinion very important. In fact I believe a lot of disease issues can be mitigated by having a well drained growing medium. Many area of the country have a heavy impenetrable clay type soil. (much of the South, going up into Pennsylvania and New York have these soils) These clay soils are wonderful for holding nutrients, but can easily become too wet. Anytime a soil is holding too much water it is at risk for the bad guys to come in. (Fungi and bacteria). The good fungi and bacteria are aerobic or need air. The bad guys will proliferate in an anaerobic environment because the good guys can't take it. SO culturally speaking what can a grower do to improve his soil if he lives in a place with clay or even fine silt soils. Raised beds will help. Nearly all the giant melon growers down south are using them. I think raised beds could go a long way to help pumpkin growers too.
Tuesday, January 17 View Page
More thoughts, Many years ago when I met Dick Wallace, I can remember naively saying to him, "you must have really great soil in Rhode Island because so many giant pumpkins come from there". He said "Nah, we have to make our soil". If you look at the very best growers in the world so many of them have "made" there soil. Very few start out with a workable medium that you can just add Nutrients too. There are some that do have very good starting points to begin the process of soil building, but that is true in life. The playing field is never equal. Life isn't fair, nor will it ever be. Travis also has the wisdom and humility to make this point about greenhouses he says; "I would do a greenhouse but even me teaching a greenhouse class here and there, I know I would go backwards for a year or two." He knows and is wise enough to see it would be a new ball game to learn. However he does go on to say this; "In my opinion yes, the world record will get broken in 23 and it will be someone with a climate-controlled greenhouse overseas!"
Thursday, January 19 View Page
Thank you PNWPG for publishing those interviews. A person could learn so much from the knowledge contained in them. One thing about elite pumpkin growers that seems to stand out to me, they all are different and employ different techniques in their patch. None of them are growing identically to the other. They use information gleaned from hands on experience and also from what others have done and they process it and apply it in their unique growing situations. One thing that they all have in common is the following. They work their butt's off. I have heard growers say "the more you put into it the more you get out of it." Very true. Another important thing I have thought about is this, you must learn to enjoy the process, Sometimes that means embracing the suck. Growers that can't or don't learn to appreciate the entire process often will quit growing after a few years because the rewards often don't beat the cost. Many, many growers have come and gone since I have been around BP. Many of them were elite too.
Thursday, January 19 View Page
Steve Geddes said this in the interview with the Pacific growers. "The most important advice that I could give to anyone is to enjoy what you are doing. If you end up finding yourself overly stressed from trying to grow a pumpkin it is a sign that maybe another hobby is in order." The principle of learning to enjoy the process is true about many things. If a person can learn to enjoy going to the gym every day, then that person will no doubt be more likely to succeed and see more long term positive results in there health and physique. Michael Jordan was asked by an overzealous parent "what is the most important thing for my kid to be doing in order to succeed in basketball?. Michael said "first he must develop a love for the game." Michael Jordan failed many, many times early in his career and could not seem to get over the hump. First it was the Celtics then it was the Piston's. But he kept at it year after year and after a devastating playoff series loss against the Pistons in 1990. He was back in the gym the day after the series ended working on the things he needed to. Mainly it was strength, the bulls had been bullied and beaten up and Michael and his teammates all came back the next fall covered with muscle. Before that time it was thought that hitting weights too hard would turn a silky smooth athletic basketball player into a muscle bound stiff. Things have really changed since the 80's. Players today are more athletic than ever and aren't afraid to hit the weights. Michael and the Bulls won the championship the next year in 1991 and once he knew the formula he repeated it five more times!
Thursday, January 26 View Page
Thought this was funny.
Friday, January 27 View Page
Melon growers. We have been talking about diversifying the genetics of the modern competition seeds. This past year Patrick van beck grew a 291.5 melon on a burpee seed. He also grew a couple more in the 175 pound range off the burpee seed. That is super impressive to me. Perhaps these genetics could be used to bring in some fresh genes into the current cc lines. Maybe even a little hybrid vigour.
Friday, January 27 View Page
Melon growers. We have been talking about diversifying the genetics of the modern competition seeds. This past year Patrick van beck grew a 291.5 melon on a burpee seed. He also grew a couple more in the 175 pound range off the burpee seed. That is super impressive to me. Perhaps these genetics could be used to bring in some fresh genes into the current cc lines. Maybe even a little hybrid vigour.
Friday, January 27 View Page
Lloyd bright has also recently been working on integrating genes. He has mixed in some of the old Carson genetics into some of the more recent genetics. You can find those seeds at his giant watermelons.com website.
Friday, February 3 View Page
Woodbury fire tower last night at sunset
Friday, February 3 View Page
View from the top
Friday, February 3 View Page
Coming down
Wednesday, February 15 View Page
I was just checking out the details of the Nowthen auction this Friday. I am super impressed, they have a very wide variety of giant vegetables that will be up for auction. Also if you are a big and orange guy in pursuit of the next Howard Dill award I would check this auction out.
Wednesday, February 15 View Page
http://www.bigpumpkins.com/msgboard/ViewThread.asp?b=30&p=621073 For giant melon growers, I recently looked up this old discussion we had back in 2017. What a great discussion, all the best growers in the world giving their thoughts. I miss those days on here. There is something about the old style "internet forum" like bp.com that really encouraged these lengthy discussions. We don't see this kind of lengthy and detailed discussion on the new forums people are predominantly using in current times. Maybe it's not the format... it could be us too... Maybe we have changed. I actually think it's both. One interesting comment was from brotherdave. (his input carries lots of weight with me) because his squash/Ag breeding program helped to jump-start a very important leap in weights in the giant squash. Dave bred AG pumpkins with giant squash, then he recommended growing out four of the hybrid seedling the next year in the same spot. After fruit set you would select the plant with produced green fruit culling out the other three plants. Scott Holub also deserves credit here as he believed in what Dave was doing and grew a world record with those seeds. Dave has always been a big advocate of the idea that more lobes, means heavier melons. Which I have seen to be true. THe more lobes packed in a melon, the less chance for hollow heart is what I have seen. The following is what Dave said back in 2017, I wonder if anyone tried that seed line that had an eight lober? "Genetic anomalies could be one answer to increased weights. If anyone out there wants to try a seed from a plant that produced an 8 lobed female email me (228 Carson 90 x self). Also used as a pollinator on a 290 Mudd. The 290 out performed a couple 305 Mudd seeds in my patch. 305 and 290 are the same cross from different years. I'll be putting both in the ground next season."
Friday, February 24 View Page
My daughter took this photo. The higher elevations got hit with ice yesterday and last night. I live two miles from this spot and didnít have this.
Monday, March 6 View Page
I had a great time in Danvers. It was my first GPC conference. I am very grateful to the GPC for all the hard work they put into the event. One thing that stood out to me from the convention is that there was so much love, support and encouragement from the growers. I felt so blessed to be in such a great community of people. Especially in this day and age when everything seems to be about division. Many of the growers have been going to these GPC conference events since the very first one. Every grower at the conference was a unique and different individual and we all come from different areas and have different backgrounds for sure, yet it all works because we share the same interest and have the same passion. We compete against each other at the weigh offs every year but still like to come together every year to meet, share ideas, secrets, tips, encourage and recognize everyone's accomplishments. I am glad I went, it was great to be there and experience it.
Monday, March 6 View Page
One last remark about Danvers, it was so great to finally be able to meet growers that I had only communicated with through email over the years. Unfortunately, the weekend went by so fast and there were many, many more I would like to have met... but didn't. Actually I would love to have been able to speak to and meet every grower there.
Wednesday, March 8 View Page
I found this study on watermelon rootstock. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248891013_Effect_of_different_rootstock_on_plant_growth_yield_and_quality_of_watermelon It looks like Lagenaria may be the best overall. The question may be which Lagenaria? I have also been thinking about giving strongback a serious shot. Any one out there try it on a competition plant? I trialed it a couple years ago on some seedless melons and they were fantastic, high yielding and delicious. The best I can tell based on experience and research is that for the best taste, go with the strongback. (it is from the citron melon which is closely related to the watermelon, thus avoiding any potential off tasting melons ). Also if you have root knot nematode in your garden Strongback might be a good choice too. Not sure if Lagenarias are resistant to root knot nematodes, I know cucurbitas are not.
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Started clean up today. Itís a big mess but I am happy to be outside getting ready for spring planting I wish I had put a cover crop in to hold things down and feed the soil. But in the fall I leave everything in the ground and pick every last pepper tomato and eggplant until frost takes them out. Then I plant that same ground early in the spring. So I have a pretty good excuse not to plant a cover cropÖÖ right?
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Spring begins a month or two early in the high tunnel from left to right lettuce cabbage and broccoli potatoes and ĎBridgerí overwintering onions
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Last years melon patch still needs to be cleaned up. I am hoping that by leaving the plastic on overwinter I can spare the drip tape from photodegradation. I can get two years from it.
Thursday, March 16 View Page
The ncaa tournament starts today. I took this photo back in February at the gampel pavilion, it is on the UConn storrs campus. There is not a bad seat in the place and the atmosphere is always electric. Since the whalers left we donít have any pro sports teams in CT. Basketball is all we have here now. Many people especially older folks are more into the UConn womens basketball team over the menís team.
Monday, March 27 View Page
I got the thesť jimmy nardello pepper seeds in the mail today from Gary Vincent. I was so happy, I could plant a couple of acres with this much seed! I canít wait to try out this variety. I love peppers and have heard these are the best. Peppers are a great crop to grow. They do not require cages or staking like tomatoes. (I hate structures in the garden.) I like to be able to just run the harrow through without a ton of clean up at the end of the year. I may plant a couple hundred of these, Gary likes them so much he grew 500! That is a lot of picking! .
Monday, March 27 View Page
Tom andres sent me these seeds he goes all over the world searching for new and interesting cucurbits It is great to know other growers that like to share seeds. I will be excited to see what I get from these.
Tuesday, April 4 View Page
I was going through some old organic gardening magazines and found this booklet from Jungís seed company. My guess is that it was from the 70s or 80 Ďs
Tuesday, April 4 View Page
Lots of good cultural information here. Although some of it is dated and our cultural practices have changed over the years. Some of it will never change and always be true. For example. Your nicest and fullest hedges will always have a slight pyramidal taper to their sides as pictured in the diagram.
Tuesday, April 4 View Page
At the gpc convention in Danvers I spoke with Doug English. He told me that Dan westfall had passed away. Dan was a pioneer with the bushel gourds as well as other giant vegetables. I believe all of our current bg genetics have some 177 westfall lineage in them. I thought it might be important for historyís sake to post the letter he sent me in regards to his 177 and itís roots. So here it is. KidsÖÖ. His handwriting is in cursive I will translate if needed lol. Honestly this i is s the nicest cursive I have ever seen. Danís bp handle was dirty Dan.
Tuesday, April 4 View Page
It's interesting to find and read that old letter from Dan Westfall, I realize now too, that his cultural description of how he grows his bushel gourds is how I do it until this day. I bet that letter is why I grow them the way I do. Steve Conolly has certainly taken BG's to a different level since those early days. I grew those 177 seeds back in 2013 and I remember getting one to 187 with no special care. I brought it to Durham and I was shocked at how heavy it was. I told someone (I think it was Bart Toftness) at the weigh off it would be really easy to come up with an OTT chart for bg's . I said just take a rock and get it's OTT measurements and then weigh the rock. A bushel gourd would match it. LOL. Yes that is a bit of an exaggeration but there is some truth in there.
Thursday, April 13 View Page
Spread some grape nerds on the patch today. Getting prep work done. I hope to have a couple Atlantic giants in the ground within a week or two
Thursday, April 13 View Page
A snow fountain cherry on its own roots not a high graft. I Something like this would make a really neat fence if trained on a grape type wire trellis.
Friday, April 14 View Page
The past couple of days have been warm. Mid to upper 80ís. I always get my butt kicked for the first few warm days of the year. I have to get all the lard out of my blood, that accumulated over the winter. Lol
Saturday, April 22 View Page
Hoping for a good season I planted two Atlantic giants in unheated cold frames this week. I may plant a few more later on so I can have some nice ones to sell.
Saturday, April 22 View Page
Melons will be going in within the next week or two. I usually look to plant when the oak leaves are just coming out. They are early this year. My peachcrop looks like it will be poor this year. We must have had an event this winter tbat killed many flower buds off I am seeing about 80 to 90 percent peach flower bud kill. If I take good care of what I have I will get few but massive sized peaches.
Sunday, April 23 View Page
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDRqHMaSGyo 20 seconds into the video. (Ron is me at the Danvers Convention) Ha Ha
Saturday, April 29 View Page
It looks like a week of cool cloudy wet weather is coming up. My two AG's aren't growing much. Hopefully they are acclimating themselves and growing roots. I am looking to get my melons in with in the next week or so. THey are ready. I don't mind having this acclimatization period. It brings less stress than if it was hot and sunny with the plants wilting every day. My goal with weather like this is to keep the soil on the dry side. Cool and dry is tolerable, cool and wet is just a recipe for disaster.
Friday, May 5 View Page
Finally some sunny weather. Melon plants went in the ground. Here is what I did for melons. 301.5 McCaslin CC on BG stock 205 Holloway Jumbo Black Diamond on Strongback 211.5 Ciesielski JBD on Lunga di Napoli squash stock 211.5 Ciesielski JBD on BG stock 226 Young CC on Rampart stock
Friday, May 5 View Page
Also in the ground, 268 Ciesielski Bushel gourd and another Atlantic Giant... so three AG's in total. Seeds to be named later. All were purchased at auction or received in exotic seed exchange.
Saturday, May 20 View Page
1066 Ritter. I am really thrilled I finally got one with the precocious b gene. I know that sounds weird but they usually are a dark orange color. Which is what I like.
Saturday, May 20 View Page
I am growing the seeds of this fat boy melon on two different rootstocks. Hopefully I can keep the mites off it this year. Those little sobís really disfigured this melonís coloration, especially in the ribs
Saturday, May 27 View Page
I direct seeded four 70 House '21 field pumpkin seeds. Joe grows awesome seeds and makes great crosses. This one is the 81 Wolf x 145 McKinnis. I am looking to grow a personal best off this seed.
Thursday, June 1 View Page
Row covers are off for the year. You are looking at from bottom to top 205 Holloway jbd on strongback, 211.5 ciesielski. Jbd on bushel gourd, 211.5 ciesielski jbd on lunga di Napoli moschata squash from lloyd bright rootstock, 226 young cc on rampart rootstock. 268 ciesielski bushel gourd, and lastly a 1066 Ritter ag
Thursday, June 1 View Page
Oops forgot the photo
Thursday, June 1 View Page
301.5 McCaslin melon is in my hoophouse. Sadly it is doing poorly, it got stunted from early cold weather and now is being torn up by mites which I cant seem to get a hold of. I may have to pull it if I can't get rid of those buggers. I think I get this problem every year, because I start them in a greenhouse that is heated overwinter. You need to start them in a greenhouse that is dormant for part of the winter and hopefully goes through some deep freezes. People may think that growing giant melons and Ag's in a greenhouse is easy, I don't know about that.
Saturday, June 3 View Page
First casualty of the year. 211 ciesielski on lunga di. Napoli squash. Bummer
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
This is the kind of rock that breaks cultivators. A big piece of granite. Someday I will have a piece of bottomland where I donít have to worry about this
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
Busted rear cultivator. That is New England for you. I can see why the settlers moved from Connecticut to ohio.
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
211.5 ciesielski jbd on bg rootstock my best plant after the 211 on lunga di Napoli collapsed.
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
205 Holloway jbd on strongback. My second best plant. The melons and AGís started growing again after the week of cold smoky Canadian air without any sun.
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
226 young on rampart.
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
268 ciesielski bg.
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
1066 Ritter getting ready to pollinate one on this plant.
Thursday, June 22 View Page
Jake Holloway informed me about this phenomenon called graft induced hybridization. It is so crazy I couldn't believe it when I looked it up. All I can say is Wow! Some food for thought, Jake thinks we are likely ruining our giant watermelon seed lines to some extent because of this phenomenon. It certainly is possible. In the very least we really don't know how what we are doing is affecting our giant melon seed genetics... good or bad. I figured I would pass this information along, Thanks Jake for bringing this idea to my attention. https://journals.ashs.org/hortsci/view/journals/hortsci/50/4/article-p520.xml
Sunday, July 2 View Page
From bottom to top. 205 Holloway jbd on strong back. This one has a golf ball sized melon on it. Then 211.5 ciesielski jbd on bg. No fruit set yet, lots of salad though. Then sort of tucked in between is a house field pumpkin that went in when I lost my other 211.5. Then above that is a 226 young cc on rampart. No fruit yet Hopefully I will see some fruit this week. Yesterday that smoky Canadian air was back. Today is showers and humid.
Sunday, July 2 View Page
I have never seen this before. Red leaves on the tips of red oak tree branches. Some are quite red like a staghorn sumac fruit cluster
Sunday, July 2 View Page
I have never seen this before. Red leaves on the tips of red oak tree branches. Some are quite red like a staghorn sumac fruit cluster
Sunday, July 23 View Page
I got a couple pollinations on my 70 House 21 field pumpkin this morning. No need to hand pollinate there were like 6 bees in both flowers when I checked on them. Probably won't save the seeds from these fruit because my zucchinni are only 30' away. They cross so easily, in fact from what I have seen you are more likely to get a c. pepo to cross than even a Carolina Cross with a JBD. One pollination is on the main vine and the other is on the back main vine. I think I will keep both pumpkins (assuming they don't abort) to reduce the chance for splits. Joe House was generous to supply me with a hole slew of top quality field pumpkin seeds. I chose the 70 Wolf because it's mother was the 81 Wolf. In my opinion that was the best field pumpkin seed of all time. Anyways pictures are to follow of the plant and the two female flowers. I hope to get these to 150 pounds or more that would be really nice!
Sunday, July 23 View Page
70 house field pumpkin
Sunday, July 23 View Page
Main vine flower on the 70 house
Sunday, July 23 View Page
Flower on the back main of the 70 house.
Sunday, July 23 View Page
Next up is a photo of the 205 Holloway JBD watermelon. It is casualty number two in the melon patch. I really wanted to prove this JBD seed of Jake's but it wasn't in the cards for me. This 205 was on a strongback and the finger vines were well spaced. Possibly Bacterial wilt is what got it. Or and I am just learning this, this year. It could have been fusarium as well even though it was on a "disease" resistant rootstock. There are several races of fusarium and new strains are developing all the time. It is hard for any seed breeder to keep up with this. And here is my observation, take it or leave it. In Farming/gardening you can never fully master any crop or eliminate all disease or insect problems.. It is like whack a mole, eliminate one problem and get it under control and up pops a new one.
Sunday, July 23 View Page
205 holloway
Sunday, July 23 View Page
Beautiful stump on the 205. Well spaced finger vines.
Sunday, July 23 View Page
The fruit under the tent was my keeper on the main vine. The other one was a cull I didnít see. Until after the plant died.
Friday, July 28 View Page
Another one bites the dust. 226 young. Three out of four competition melon plants have collapsed. It happens.
Friday, July 28 View Page
All I have left is my 211.5 plant It has two melons in it. I like this one
Friday, July 28 View Page
It also has this beach ball on it.
Friday, July 28 View Page
I also had two melons on the 226 this was the smaller younger melon on the plant. Maybe I will get lucky and the finger vine that the melon is on will survive.
Friday, July 28 View Page
Last but not least this melon is a 301.5 mccaslin it nearly died early in and then I had to fight off the mites, but it has come back and is growing a nice melon despite the plants small size. I didnít intend for this to be a competition melon, more of an experiment in a high tunnel. Who knows what it will do these little plants can surprise you it may yet prove to be worthy of a scale somewhere.
Friday, July 28 View Page
We are in a wet pattern with pop up storms nearly everyday. When itís not raining the humidity is like 90 percent. It seems that most growers east of the Mississippi are dealing with similar weather.
Monday, July 31 View Page
70 house field pumpkin on main vine. These grow fast. Hoping I can get to 150 or more.
Monday, July 31 View Page
70 house on back main vine. The stem is splitting they grow so fast
Monday, July 31 View Page
Hopefully this is set. So far the bees havenít been successful in pollinating this 268 ciesielski plant.
Monday, July 31 View Page
Getting a few muskmelons these are culls. Too much rain caused them to ripen prematurely. They will go to the cow and chickens
Monday, July 31 View Page
Not happy with this melon. It is one of the two on my 211. Not sure if I will plant my 211 again. As it is showing some light spots. The 211 was open pollinated and it was not isolated from eating melons. I think it might have picked up some pollen from a legacy or maybe even something else. The other melon on the plant is a more uniform dark melon. More like itís mama. This melon is probably as tall as it is long!
Monday, July 31 View Page
The other 211 on the same plant
Thursday, August 3 View Page
Pop! First time ever a blossom end split on a melon. Last year I had a stem split, this year itís the blossom end. Really cool color pattern. Like a kaleidoscope. I could stare at this for hours and wonder what the heck I was looking at. Loll
Thursday, August 3 View Page
Final measurements will be taken soon. Possibly the tallest I have ever grown
Saturday, August 5 View Page
211.5 ciesielski. Blossom end split melon.
Saturday, August 5 View Page
Blossom end split melon
Saturday, August 5 View Page
Same melon
Saturday, August 5 View Page
Same melon different view
Saturday, August 5 View Page
Last one
Saturday, August 5 View Page
Final ott measurements on the split melon. I am not sure I will take the seeds out of this fatty. It might be good to cross with long genetics
Saturday, August 5 View Page
70 house growing fast
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
My daughter with her mace sunflowers. These could be a personal best for her. I think her pb is around 17 feet or so
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
Letís try that again.
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
Letís try that again.
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
Letís try that again.
Wednesday, August 9 View Page
First year growing this variety It is a new favorite for me. It is called ĎRaquelí. I highly recommend it. It is somewhat resistant to ear worms compared to most other varieties.
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
The striped melons are starbrite and the black icebox melons are harvest moon. Even though the starbrite is a much bigger melon it is about a week earlier than the harvest moon for me this year
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
This is a photo of some sort of rock ďartĒ. This is at hammonassett state park.
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
From a different angle.
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
This is what the ocean looks like at hammonassett state park. My brother lives in Cleveland and I think he has bigger waves on Lake Erie than we do on long Long Island sound lol. Probably nicer sand too.
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
A rare sunset in this ultra wet cloudy humid 2023 season.
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
One more photo from meigs point looking out to the mouth of Clinton harbor.
Saturday, August 19 View Page
2023 is now over for me with the giant melons. One of those years I guess. The key is to embrace the suck and do it again. Repeat as many times as necessary until you have a good result. Failure is mandatory.
Saturday, August 19 View Page
From the top
Saturday, August 19 View Page
Gorgeous fifteen by thirty plant. I will let it load up with new melons.
Sunday, August 20 View Page
This old Sandler skit sums up todays media (kevin Nealon) and it's relationship with us the public (sandler) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwocyfuEyQw
Thursday, August 24 View Page
Inside of the stem split melon. This flesh is nice and tight with a ver small hollow heart this would have been nice and heavy to the charts. Too bad
Thursday, August 24 View Page
Stem end where the rot started
Saturday, September 2 View Page
I planted tobacco in the spot where my 205 Holloway melon was
Monday, September 4 View Page
Gary Vincentís 1274. A nice orange pumpkin
Monday, September 4 View Page
1274 vincent
Monday, September 4 View Page
My daughters 17í7Ē sunflower
Tuesday, September 5 View Page
Does any one know what this old tool was used for?
Friday, September 8 View Page
Me with my first place 1570.4 at the Bethlehem fair
Saturday, September 9 View Page
Gary Vincentís 1264.4
Saturday, September 9 View Page
Tom Ecsedyís 629
Saturday, September 9 View Page
It made the paper too! It was a big one. Total ott 428Ē
Saturday, September 9 View Page
A listing of the Bethlehem fairís giant vegetable records
Sunday, September 10 View Page
My daughter Emily standing next to her new pb and fair record 18í4Ē sunflower. The other impressive sunflower is 17í7Ē grown by sandy eustace
Saturday, September 16 View Page
https://soilbiotics.com/files/Building_BRIX_in_Plants.pdf I am not sure why I didn't look into this stuff sooner, I have Lots of winter reading to do. I think the very best growers are managing there brix levels very well and giving there plants the best access to nutrients, natural plant growth hormones, and beneficial biological fungi and bacteria. Because of this proper and complete plant health you will notice that certain growers do not seem to have a problem with Yellow vine disease (As well as other diseases). Just a question that I have thought of, How come you have never really heard of one of the elite Rhode Island growers having there season ended by YVD? I am starting to think it is because their plants are resistant! They grow plants that have their leaves and roots and vascular system colonized by beneficial bacteria and fungi and they have their plant tissue high in brix. I don't think that the YVD disease is absent from that area, I don't see how it could be. One more thought, anyone who has grown in a greenhouse knows insect pest problems are twice as bad, as they are outdoors. Could this be that the plants brix values are down a bit because of the less complete sunlight that the plastic provides hindering ideal photosynthesis. The plastic blocks some of the different spectrums like much of the UV, Have you ever got a sunburn in a greenhouse? Right now I have a high tunnel that I planted three late crops in on the fourth of July. I planted cucumber and summer squash and tomatoes. I have had to rip out all the cucumbers and the summer squash because they were covered with aphids. THey were so sticky it was like maple syrup it was so bad. While the tomatoes don't have an aphid on them and are 12 feet wide covering half the house and growing. Why is this? Could it be that the tomatoes are more efficient at keeping there brix levels up under the type of sunlight in a greenhouse. I know aphids will eat tomatoes I have seen them do it. But... I have never had a crop of cucumbers or summer squash get so infested in an outdoor environment as they did in the high tunnel, and I have been doing this for a long, long time.
Wednesday, November 1 View Page
1885 all carved up.
Wednesday, November 1 View Page
It all ends tonight. Major frost is coming. It is late for us to make it into November without a frost.
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
Optimism is a trait of all gardeners. I donít care what you say or even if you think you are not. You areÖ. Otherwise you would have left the garlic on the counter or the seed in the packet.
Wednesday, November 8 View Page
Now that the season is over I have a moment to post a few more photos and thoughts from my 2023 season. The season started off with a smoky start. This photo shows what a clear day was like during the Canadian wildfires. The smoky skies lasted for whAt seemed like a week or so. June was also incredibly dry with virtually no rain at all. ThAt was about to change as the rains would start in July and go right through the rest of the season
Sunday, November 12 View Page
Here is the 1885 Werner back around June 21. Two were set right near each other. I went with the first set about ten feet out
Sunday, November 12 View Page
Here is the chosen 1885 on June 29th. It has a split in the stem. Amazingly that was the only stem issue I had on it all season long. It was not a problem at all
Sunday, November 12 View Page
Here is my 1686 stelts plant on July seventh. Pollinated back on the 21st of June it is a nice orange pumpkin It s getting ready to take off and grow.
Sunday, November 12 View Page
1885 on July seventh. Getting fat and staying low
Sunday, November 12 View Page
1885 on July nineteenth
Sunday, November 12 View Page
1686 stelts on July nineteenth. Getting very misshapen.
Sunday, November 12 View Page
1885 on July nineteenth a real wide load
Sunday, November 12 View Page
On august seventh I found the 1885 crown was leaking. Crap
Sunday, November 12 View Page
A close up do the leaking main
Sunday, November 12 View Page
I tried to stay positive and I cleaned it up with a toothbrush and peroxide plus painted it with daconil. Fingers crossed this will work
Sunday, November 12 View Page
It looks goodÖÖ.I guess?
Sunday, November 12 View Page
But after consulting with my pumpkin mentor Gary Vincent. He told me ďJohn itís up to you but you do have to be careful with internal rot traveling up the vine and into the pumpkinĒ. So after much back and forth in my mind I took the conservative approach and decided to have a look and see what the inside was doing. Sure enough it was rotting.
Sunday, November 12 View Page
On July 24th I had to amputate back to healthy tissue. Much of the plant was lost. You canít see it in the photo but that plant had the first two secondaries grow out tertiaries into a compost pile (I call those tertiaries rocket boosters). Maybe I will draw a diagram of the plants rough layout.
Sunday, November 12 View Page
Looks good from this point
Monday, November 13 View Page
August 29th 1686 in the foreground, 1885 in the background.
Monday, November 13 View Page
Harvested the 1885 a week early. And put a fan on it. It had a soft spot where it meets the ground. I tried cleaning it up and drying it in the field, still on the vine. I couldnít get it to dry properly due to the heavy dew we were getting at night. I had it nice and dry within 24 hours after getting it on a pallet and in the garage with a fan on it
Monday, November 13 View Page
This was the day of harvest which was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. It was probably the hottest weekend of the year. I was glad to get it out of the sun and into the garage
Tuesday, November 14 View Page
September 19 was the day of harvest for the Durham fair. I am happy that this pumpkin has survived the monsoon season. Lol
Tuesday, November 14 View Page
Here is ron Wallace with his winning pumpkin. Mine came in second at 1604 pounds.
Tuesday, November 14 View Page
Back home. The 1604 is on the left and the 1570 is on the right. Donít be deceived by the photo the 1570 was actually a larger pumpkin in dimension. The 1604 never really impressed me but it grew slow and steady. The 1570 on the other hand was something else and I know it would have been much bigger if I had been able to keep the stump plus it was harvested Labor Day weekend out of extra caution.
Tuesday, November 14 View Page
A basket of nardello peppers. These are really good to eat and nice and sweet. We had a rabbit and some rats nibbling the bottoms off them. I just got two female barn cats I hope they clean house. A scorched earth policy is fine with me. I am a farmer and I know in reality it is eat or be eaten.

 

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