On Saturday August 25 both the New England Pumpkin Grower's Association and the New Hampshire Giant Pumpkin Growers Associations met for a combined Summer Cookout. The event was held at Jim and Sue Beachamin's beautiful house in Goffstown, NH. Fun was had by all. There were over 150 people in attendance. Jim Beachamin and the other members of the NHGPGA really put on a first class event.
After the meal it was time for the local patch tour. We had been hearing rumors of some giants from the North, now it was time to find out who had the biggest one going! There were so many people that the New Hampshire growers arranged for a school bus to bring people around on the tour. The bus was full and still several car loads of people followed!
The first stop on the tour was Jim Kuhn's house. One of the first things we noticed were some newly designed shade structures. They are made with two different thicknesses of PVC pipe. A 1.5 inch pipe is used for the four posts. One-half inch pipe is criss-crossed for the roof and it fits inside the posts in each corner. This allows for an adjustable shade structure based on how much of the smaller pipe is inside the posts. I think we will be see many more growers trying these next season.
Here is Jim Kuhn with a pumpkin on his 723 Bobier plant. Jim says the pumpkin is over 300 pounds. We are pretty sure this pumpkin was over 800 pounds! When asked about the cloth over the blossom end Jim removed it (to show it wasn't split) and explained that too much sun could cause it to split.
Here is another of Jim Kuhn's pumpkins. This is growing on his own 712 seed from last year. The 712 was grown on the 935 Lloyd and crossed with the 780 Eaton. All of Jim's plants are well pruned, well weeded and his vines are completely buried.
Yet another monster pumpkin in the patch of Jim Kuhn. This one is also growing on a 712 Kuhn 2000 plant. Look for this to be a HIGHLY sought after seed this winter!! We don't know which one of these Jim will bring to Topsfield but you can bet he will finish near the top!
The next stop on the tour was Peter Carter's patch. This is a shot of Peter (on the right), Jim Kuhn (on the left) and a HUGE pumpkin on Peter's 846 Calai plant. Peter said it was taping over 700. To us it looked even bigger. We do believe the NH growers will be well represented in the Topsfield Top 10 again this year!
Another very big pumpkin in Peter's patch grown from a 712 Kuhn 2000 seed. It was taping around 650 pounds and is deeply ribbed and heavily catelouped. We think it will weigh heavy. It was at this point in the patch tour we over heard several growers asking themselves "what am I doing wrong?" To see this many huge pumpkins in the same town during August is just incredible. NOTE TO JIM KUHN: Please bring a couple 712's to Topsfield for charity case from Connecticut! Thanks!
This is the stump of Peter's 747 Berard plant. Peter put a measuring tape on it and it taped 17 inches in circumference! Now that's a stump! Also, notice how Peter has kept the stump area clean and clear of debris. This is to help prevent the stump from rotting.
The next and final stop on the patch tour was Bruce Normand's house. Bruce is growing this pumpkin on his 805 Pukos plant. Bruce was having some disease problems in his patch this year. We think the 805 Pukos is going to be a red HOT seed too!
This is another pumpkin growing in Bruce's patch. Bruce can be seen here explaining the situation to the large crowd of people on the patch tour.
This pumpkin was not on the patch tour but John G. from Derry, NH brought us the photo to scan. This is the pumpkin he was referring to in the message board under the "Fess-up" discussion. Nice job John! We hope you place high at Topsfield with it!
Pumpkin-mania could be seen everywhere. One woman attending the Summer Cookout even decorated her nails for the occasion!
Here is Matt Mongeon, Vice President of the N.H.G.P.G.A. with his wife and son. Everyone had a great time at the cookout. Thanks again to the Beachamin's and all the other people who made it possible.