Monday, October 26, 2020


By Caroline Clemmons 

Don't miss the giveaway entry at the end of the post!

Many of us are sorry to learn that the Charlie Brown movies have been purchased by a conglomerate and will not be show universally this year. Just when I learned there really IS a great pumpkin!

This really doesn't have anything to do with the Olde West but I hope you find it interesting. At least, Half Moon Bay, California is in the West. 

Last month when I was writing a Christmas story I needed to watch a feel-good movie. We intended to watch a Christmas movie but the one Hero and I watched  was about a pumpkin contest in a fictitious town probably modeled after Anoka, Minnesota. Anoka is known as the Halloween Capitol of the World for its famous parade. 

In the movie, the main characters decided at the last moment to try and win the local pumpkin growing contest. Almost immediately they had this large pumpkin. I couldn't believe a pumpkin could grow that fast. Well, it can and does. 

Each year, Safeway holds the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in the town of Half Moon Bay, California. The 2020 champion pumpkin at 2350 pounds, was grown by Travis Geinger of Anoka, Minnesota. He towed his giant entry to the annual competition to win this year’s title. He received $7 a pound in prize money. 


Travis Geinger and Tiger King

This champion pumpkin began with an $80 seed from a 1,501 pound pumpkin. And Gienger estimates his champion pumpkin had already expanded to 1,000 pounds in 20 days. Wow! 

"These pumpkins put on astronomical amounts of weight," Geinger said. "At their peak, they're growing 2-3 pounds an hour."

He's been growing pumpkins since he was fifteen, but this is his first time winning a pumpkin weighing contest. To get his pumpkin safely from Minnesota to California, he carried the giant in a trailer filled with dirt and straw. Getting his pumpkin safely into the trailer required 10 people and a forklift. 

When his family realized it would be striped orange and white, his brother in law suggested he name it Tiger King. This pumpkin was 19 1/2 feet in diameter and three feet tall. He watered the pumpkin frequently and kept it cool and covered.  

He expects to be back with another entry next year.

Terrible things, heartbreaking to the grower, happen to the giant gourds if they're not happy. A crack can appear, disqualifying the pumpkin. A hole from a soft spot can spurt pumpkin innards like a geyser.

According to the YouTube video, these large pumpkins require a lot of soil preparation. Seeds are started indoors in April and transplanted in May. When the weather is dry, they require 1,000 gallons of water a day. 

They're hand-pollinated early in the morning and then the blossom tied closed with cloth to prevent cross-contamination by natural pollinators and to protect the integrity of the line. A cover is provided to shade the gargantuan gourd to prevent it growing too fast and also to keep the skin soft and help prevent splitting. Energy can be lost from too much vine, so the tertiary vines are removed and other vines kept buried.

Unfortunately, the 50th annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival was cancelled due to the pandemic. The event typically brings around 250,000 people to Half Moon Bay and raises close to $5oo,ooo each year for various charities. Instead, this year the festival committee launched the Pumpkin Power Project Support Fund, which has raised over $300,000 so far.

No matter how you celebrate Halloween, stay safe, don't eat too much candy, and have fun!



I want to remind you about a treat I have for an upcoming holiday, MEG is #20 of the Angel Creek Montana Christmas Brides. This book is on preorder NOW for a December 18 release date!  

A desperate woman’s promise to a dying mother…

A man struggling to start a business…

Two orphans who need a home…

 Meg Todd is tired of putting her happiness on hold to help her spoiled sister and bully of a brother-in-law care for their home and children. When she learns her sister’s husband has horrifying plans for her, she asks an attorney family friend for help escaping. Meg wants her own husband and home and is willing to move over halfway across the country to achieve her goal. But is she too impulsive when she agrees to take two children from their dying mother?

Curtis McClain has to be careful with his small savings or it won’t fund his dream of his own newspaper. He wants a wife—he needs someone to help him with the newspaper. If he can combine the two, then he’ll be all right. In a few years, they can start a family. But, will a woman want to move to the middle of nowhere on those terms? If his new bride brings her own funds to the union, so much the better—that is if she doesn’t try telling him how to run his life.

Can two strong-willed people become the spouse each expects and the parents two children need?

Until midnight October 28, you can still enter this exciting giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I can't wrap my head around a pumpkin that big. I'd love to see one in person. Thanks for your blog post.


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