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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 26 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.

 

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