A tale of an 800 plus pound pumpkin mystery isn’t exactly a hardboiler, but appeals me nevertheless. Pumpkin pie is my favorite dessert and I’m immensely glad to be cruising into the Orange Season, where I can have my way with beaucoup gargantuan slices of the copious gourd, with witchy texture and zesty flavor. Scott Bennett must share my passion for the Cucurbita maxima with his recent cultivation of an 814 pound pumpkin.
I saw this story covered on CNN and felt a great deal of respect towards Scott Bennett for his perseverance, Tender Loving Care, and all together radical attitude of commitment in cultivating a cache of prize-winning, orange-hued gourds. Let’s see, the 800 pounder required 80 gallons of water per day, barrels (a truck load, I mean) of cow manure, and Scott even put his baby to bed with a blanket.
Documentation of the peculiar Jack-O-Lantern’s preternatural growth statistics is provided on the CNN ‘special interest’ feature. I noted these stats and thought this must have been lifted from a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, or possibly purloined from Jack and Beanstalk, in terms of sensation or exaggeration. Lo and behold, this is real, my dear friend! Day 30 – 102 inches, 288 lbs, Day 40 – 124 inches, 478 lbs, Day 50 – 137 inches, 621 lbs, Day 60 – 148 inches, 759 lbs, and the Final Day, up to 814 lbs!
Scott Bennett’s miraculous pumpkin was a winner (Duh?) at the Antrim County heaviest pumpkin weigh-in. Scott lives in Mancelona, Michigan, which is in Antrim County, which in turn is in the northern sector of the state. Mancelona is a small town, but apparently not so small when it comes to cultivation of munificent pumpkins. Scott is growing some other whoppers that are coming in at 300 or 400 plus LBS.
Moreover, Scott is selling these obese gourds on Craig’s List. Good luck to him in that regard. The aforementioned story told us the 814 pounder could produce enough pumpkin pie to feed a small city. This bit of autumnal trivia is what lured me to peck out some piping’s of Hallows Eve bountiful fruit sagas, natural or unnatural, depending how you absorb the gushy pie filling of portraiture.
Confoundment was my initial reaction to the equivalent of Andre The Giant in the weird world of orange gourds. I snooped around for a bit of scientific trivia. The Wikipedia entry says that pumpkins generally get to a weight of 9-18 lbs, and the bigger ones can get up to 75 lbs. But nowhere does it say that that a pumpkin can exceed 800 pounds? A freak of nature was grown up in Mancelona!
A Ripley’s Believe it or Not one-off that would be a better fit for the Freak Show at the Texas State Fair at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas! The only problem is they have discontinued the Freak Show on The Midway, I believe, back in the late ’80s sometime. Those little tent carnivals are a thing of the past, and harken back from a different era, to the days of P.T. Barnum (before the great fire).
I digress, but it fits in nicely with the onset of fall, millions of pumpkins everywhere you look, and preparations all around for Halloween and the Great Harvest of Fall that characterizes our American traditions. Been meaning to cut back on the amount of pumpkin pie I consume this fall, but I wonder if I can. I need to discipline myself to stop staring at Scott Bennett’s OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD orange Mona Lisa masterpiece of a gourd. (Beat it down to a pulp of pumpkin pudding anyway folks! – The Unutterable from Philip Glass’s Powaqqatsi -best bet for ambient music).