Q: How did you get on The Marriage Ref?
A: My wife Amber was listening to the radio and one of the DJs was on the show last year and she mentioned that The Marriage Ref was in town doing auditions. She didn’t think much of it at first but then thought, “Pumpkins!” She has complained for years about the amount of time I spend in the patch. When she got home she shot off an email and within an hour had a reply back asking if we could go to a local mall at 2:00 the next day. We went in and did a 30 minute on camera interview and when we were done the auditioner turned off the camera and said with a smile, “I’ve never seen anything like it. We have got to get you on this show.”
For those of you who don't know Amber she is a fire plug. She is a popular mommy blogger that runs The Denver Post's Mommy Blog milehighmamas.com here in Denver. Last year she was Microsoft's official blogger at the Winter Olympic games and is the love of my life.
Q: When did you do the taping?
A: They taped us at our house for 10 hours the first week of December. Wasn’t easy having a pumpkin that was picked in October available in December for the show but we pulled it off. We then headed to New York for the studio taping mid-December.
Q: What was being on the show like?
A: It was a great experience. The crew was awesome. The other couples were great to hand out with. It seemed that all of the crew had seen our package prior to us arriving and lots of people were coming up to me asking questions about giant pumpkin growing. It was a lot of fun!
Q: What were the celebrities like to be with?
A: We didn’t see the celebrities until we went out on stage. We were back stage and the DJ over the PA system said, “Is everyone ready to meet The Pumpkin Man? The crowd went crazy. It was a little intimidating. Then they came back from commercial break, made the introductions and then we walked out on stage waving to the audience. It was a strange to sit down and look up to see faces that were so familiar. It was even stranger for them to call me by name; asking lots of questions about pumpkins. Usually people (aka Amber) are telling me to shut up about the pumpkins, but this was truly heaven. After the show we had an opportunity to shake hands with all of the celebrities and then do some quick photo shoots with them. I was told that usually Jerry doesn’t do pictures and this was the only episode he took the time to do that.
Q: How much of the show was scripted?
A: Almost nothing. During the taping at the house sometimes the director would tell you to say something and sometimes I would do it and other times I would just simply say, “I’m not going to say that” and they wouldn’t argue. On stage nothing was scripted. We didn’t know what was going to be asked and although we met with a writer to talk about “strategy” before going on stage it was our own words on stage.
Q: What did you do after the show?
A: We were so pumped up after the show that we walked around New York for hours. The truth was that we wanted to walk for the first hour. The second and third hour was mostly walking around trying to find a late night bite to eat. The city that never sleeps proves challenging when you are trying to find a restaurant at 11:00pm.
Q: What is the story with this Pumpkin Blog
A: I write this blog just as much for myself as for other newer giant pumpkin growers. On a weekly basis you can follow my pumpkin plants from patch prep time to harvest. I pretty much tell you everything I do to grow a giant pumpkin. Often I'll go back to my blog to see what I gave the plants and how much I gave them so I can keep track of things and see what is working and what is not. I like to call it the biggest giant pumpkin blog in the world. Feel free to leave a comment on any post and usually I'll get back to you within 24 hours with a comment of my own.
Q: How big is the world-record giant pumpkin?
A: 1810 pounds! Grown last year Chris Stevens.
Q: What happens now?
A: I am open to sponsorships, speaking engagements, commercials and I do give autographs. LOL
If all of that doesn't pan out then I’ll continue to grow my giant pumpkins (got two beautiful plants going right now--come to Jared's Nursery in Denver for the weigh-off the last Saturday in September and say hi), play with my kids, love my wife and run my business as a founder of a website design and online marketing firm that caters to small and medium sized businesses.