So here we are in March, the final stretch for a lot of growers out there, I hope the pumpkin are behaving themselves by keeping intact and keeping the growing up.

I’ve heard you loud and clear via the survey and I will do more updates next season.  But for now here is a bit of a round up of what has been happening around these parts.

In the last post I mentioned the Southwell School Pumpkin growing club which you should check out, but I also caught up with Gareth, it was during the week so Grace was at school, the young pumpkin growers still need to learn stuff.

It is always amazing what they have growing and I am sure last year I heard they weren’t growing as much this year, I’m not sure if that is the actual case, but that doesn’t matter as there is always a lot to see, including a bunch of different things including the biggest stalk I’ve ever seen on a giant sunflower, a giant beetroot and I saw the plastic moulds over the cucumbers to give them awesome shapes.

Click to enlarge the photos

Update on seeds into the country

I’m still working on getting a workable answer for getting seeds into the country, there seems to be a lot of different information out there but according to seed companies and other experts in the field a large number of seeds need to be tested at once and sacrificed just for the one shipment of seeds to come here.

It seems a bit crazy, but there are people getting the certificates for European growers by getting some tested n Canada and then going back to the US and then onto the country that wants them.

Will update if I have a better answer, in the meantime any seeds you buy from overseas may get stopped at the border, you will be contacted and will have to go from there.  But I do know of small amounts of seeds that have made it into the country recently undetected.

My patch

My patch is gone, overrun by weeds, but a pumpkin has actually formed on the plant.  It’s a very long looking pumpkin and while it isn’t going to win any awards for weight it should be a good contender to make something with for the creations category.  I just need to put on my thinking cap.

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And my daughters pumpkin is going great, the plant looks good and it is hard to believe this has been planted in a strip of dirt that is about 200mm wide right next to the house.

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The growth probably started a litte bit late in the season but the pumpkin should hopefully be pretty good, and we will have to decide if it is going in for weight or as a creation of some sort.

Cutie Pie pumpkin verdict

When I visited Gareth the other day him and his wife were singing the praises of the cutie pie pumpkin variety and how amazing it tasted, and were kind enough to give one to me to try, if you follow GPNZ on Facebook you would have seen the photo I had of it.

Cutie Pie Pumpkin

Well it took a while but I managed to drag it to Rotorua with me and we cooked it up.  Everyone liked it and it does have a better flavour than your normal crown pumpkin, the skin comes out really nice too and it’s way easier to just eat the whole thing.  So if you get a chance try one of these little orange pumpkins out.

Tim’s growers diary

If you are wondering how local grower Tim’s pumpkin is looking this year, you really should check out his bigpumpkins.com growers diary, where you can see the photos he has posted, as well as a whole bunch of growers from around the world.  It’s free to set up a growers diary, and is a great way to document your season, in this past post I show you how to set one up.

Other plans

Other plans for GPNZ in the future are coming along nicely with a lot of stuff being worked on, all in the very early stages at present, but if you want to keep up with everything major and important then sign up to the newsletter.

And prep for the carnival

Lots of prep has been done for this, and lots still to do, with a giant to do list that we are whittling down we sure can’t wait to see everyone on the 29th of March.  Check out http://www.thegreatpumpkincarnival.co.nz for all the details, why not come and check out the international award winning Hamilton gardens.

That’s it for the update around here, I am just in the process of re sorting out the images on the website and the photos page, a big job but will be better once done, and talking about photos make sure to take a bunch at whatever pumpkin event you find yourself at, I would love to have them up on the website for everyone to check out.