Yesterday I made my way to the New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays, the largest agricultural event in the southern hemisphere, or as we like to call it, fieldays.
It was the first fine day after a bunch of very wet days previously and there was mud everywhere, down to good luck or my exceptional driving skills (it’s hard to tell what exactly) I didn’t actually get my little car stuck at all. Although plenty of other people did, including the woman next to me parking her car.
There was a lot of people there, over 42,000 to be exact, the biggest amount of people there since 2008 and at some points it was just a little bit overwhelming, definitely not the place for people that can’t deal with large crowds.
What was there to see
I’m pretty sure there was something for everybody at the Fieldays, the trick is knowing where these things are or trying to make sure you see as much as you can in the time you are there. I’m sure I missed a bunch of stuff but I covered all the important parts including coming across two very different products that I think will be of use to giant pumpkin growing.
Agrifert is a New Plymouth based company who has a wide variety of products for agriculture. I had heard that they had a giant pumpkin on site so I had to track them down and check it out.
They had Aaron the winner from the Marton Harvest festivals 490kg pumpkin on display out the front of their exhibit and it sure was drawing crowds, with people wanting to take photos with it and to check to see if it was actually real. Of course us seasoned growers of giant pumpkins knew it was real and it was in such good condition after having been cut off the vine for such a long time, and even with it being moved around the country.
Neil from Agrifert put it down to the use of their product during the growing season which did a couple of things, it gave the pumpkin plant a much needed boost in growth when the plant and pumpkin looked to be slowing down. It also contributed to the outstanding condition of the pumpkin due to the sulphate introduced by the products that were used on the plant helping the cell structure stay together.
Some of the products they have which are not only good for giant pumpkins and anything else you may be growing, they also promote good soil structure and making sure the microbial bacteria are taken care of. Check out their website for more on the products and information.
They do small quantities of their product, ideal for the home grower or giant pumpkin grower at prices that were very reasonable.
On my way out of fieldays I came across Polynet from Christchurch who have a wide range of Italian made polypropylene mesh.
I particularly liked their hoop frame systems which come in a bunch of various sizes and are made with fibreglass rods and are covered in Mikroclima a product ideal for raised garden set ups or just on bare ground.
You can buy components individually to make your own hoop houses, or you can buy a ready to go kit with everything you need contained within. The prices were really reasonable and with the need for the hoop house only for a short period when the pumpkins are transplanted out into the patch, this sort of set up will last for years when stored well.
I’m keen to try product from both of these companies and as always I will be showing you what I am using through the growing season and how it all works out for me.
Due to me forgetting my camera and solely relying on my ancient cellphone, the photos I took at the fieldays didn’t save to the phone for some reason.
A great day out, and exciting to see and talk to people about new products that can be used in giant pumpkin growing.