Saturday, October 30, 2010

We Interrupt the Fall Patch Prep for Marriage Counseling

The weather this fall has been unusually warm so I've been waiting for the leaves to fall so I can finish my fall patch prep. Finally I've accumulated a good pile of shredded leaves to till into the pumpkin patch and I set aside some time for today to till my fall amendments into the patch when our plans got changed at the last moment.

Amber had heard an announcement on the radio that the producers for the NBC show The Marriage Ref were in town doing auditions for next season's show so she shot off an email and to her surprise got an email back a short while later saying that they wanted us to come down for an interview today.

I already had a busy day planned so I started my tilling early so I could get everything done before going to the audition. The Marriage Ref is an NBC show where couples air their humorous disputes before judges and a live audience and then there is a decision made on which person is correct. The dispute that Amber and I were going to take is no surprise. Pumpkins. A discussion that has come up more than once over the last three years. Amber isn't against me growing pumpkins. As a matter of fact she wants to to grow a big pumpkin. But she doesn't want me to take any time away from the family to do it. It has been the source of more than once discussion in our home. Being pretty opportunistic people, it wasn't beneath Amber or me to air our dirty laundry to millions for the chance to win $25,000.

I wore my Rocky Mountain Giant Pumpkin Growers gear and Amber wore pearls for the audition. We worked out our positions before going which wasn't hard because those lines have been drawn in the sand for years. After filling out some paperwork and going through some basic questions they turned the camera on and started the interview.

Both of us kept a level head as we stated our positions and tried to make the whole thing funny during the interview but there were moments of passion. Both Amber and I felt like we did pretty good but weren't sure where we stood when our interviewer said we were done and to turn off the camera. I knew we nailed it when the camera was off and our Marriage Ref interviewer shook her head, smiled and said, "I've never seen anything like it. We have got to get you two on the show."

They asked for the pictures that we had brought and for us to video tape the pumpkin before it rotted away and said that they would be making their final decisions very soon but there is a good possibility they want to bring a camera crew by the home in the next three weeks to do the interview for the show.

Who would have guessed that the final "weigh-off" wasn't done and that I still had a chance to win first prize with my pumpkins?! This weigh-off I'm going to take my Honey down and get that $25,000 prize.

Now back to our regularly-scheduled program already in progress....

Today, as I mentioned, I did my fall patch prep. I tilled in about 3 yards of shredded leaves, 4 pounds of blood meal, 5 pounds of 7-2-3 fertilizer, five pounds of elemental sulfur, 1 pound manganese, 15 pounds of gypsum and about 5 pounds of alfalfa pellets. After raking it smooth I will let that sit for the winter and I'll get a soil test in the spring to make my final adjustments. In the spring I'll probably add some finished compost with my final amendments before planting.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Got Seeds? And another First Place!

Congrats to Bode and Haddie on a great pumpkin season. Yesterday they got another first place finish with their pumpkin. An eating establishment in Aurora will be putting it on display this next week. I asked the kids if they wanted to sell it and told them it meant they wouldn't be able to carve it as a jack-o-lantern and my son replied, "I want toys." He is a chip off the old block.

Haddie and I got the seeds out of the pumpkin this evening. I really like this cross. Both pumpkins are a nice orange, with an almost ribless skin and the 208 Johnson was flawless inside. If you would like some of the 208 Johnson (1129 Orleck x 1161 Rodonis) and you will grow them next year please let me know and I will get you one.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bitter / Sweet Part II

Another bitter sweet day at the weigh-off. Pumpkin #2 ended up a respectable 4th place, I got a personal best, but ended up going about 9% light on the scale again with a pumpkin that ended up weighing 868 pounds. Although it was a bit discouraging I think the seeds in this pumpkin are going to be good ones. The cross is 1161 Rodonis x 1544 Revier. I'm hoping that the 1544 Revier will add the heavy gene and a bit more growing punch to this cross which is the two things that the 1161 needed to improve. The root system and leaves on the 1161 were amazing so I look forward to seeing what this cross could bring next year.

Congrats to Pete Mohr in Longmont on a fantastic new state record of 1,306 pounds. Pete also grew an 1161 and had a great looking pumpkin from it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pumpkin #2 - AKA Larry

I just loaded up the 1161 Rodonis (AKA Larry) on the trailer for tomorrow's giant pumpkin weigh-off at the Flower Bin in Longmont. The 1161's measurements are only two inches OTT less than the 1236 Harp which translates to only about 24lbs. I was hoping it could catch the 1236 this week but the pumpkin is 95 days old and just didn't have enough energy this late in the season to do it. It kept growing right to the end however putting on 8 pounds over the last three days and a great 210 pounds in the month of September.