The giant pumpkin regatta
History of the giant pumpkin
Ever since Nova Scotia Farmer Howard Dill patented his record-breaking “Dill’s Atlantic Giant” seeds in the 1980’s, he’s been considered the father of the giant pumpkin. Growers from all over the world have been crossing his seeds with different varieties in an effort to grow the world’s first one tonne pumpkin. That’s a whopping 1,000 kg or 2,240 lbs! According to pumpkin gospel, the first grower to reach this goal will get a price money of $ 50,000. No wonder some growers are taking this business very seriously. So far the world record has reached a staggering 825 kg or 1,818.5 lbs, set in 2011 by Jim Bryson and daughter Kelsey from Quebec, Canada and the weight keeps increasing every year.
Contrary to popular belief, a pumpkin is a member of the curcurbit (gourd) family, a fruit and not a vegetable. Members of the same family include squash, cucumbers, melons and watermelons. While there are hundreds of different types of pumpkin and squash, not all of them are edible and only the Atlantic Giant has the potential to win the giant pumpkin price.
2012 New World Record: The one ton pumpkin!
Ron Wallace, from Greene, Rhode Island has finally done it and grown the one ton pumpkin. His giant weighed a whopping 2,009 american pounds which exceeds an imperial ton, earning him a price money of $ 15'500. Now the question remains, is the race for the first one tone pumpkin still on? After all, a metric ton is 2.240 american pounds. Who knew that pumkins could be that confusing....
How to row a giant pumpkin across the bay
Of course it goes without saying that pumpkin growing is very popular in Nova Scotia and since Canadians always come up with fun ideas to celebrate the changing seasons, Windsor, the home-town of Howard Dill is holding an annual giant pumpkin regatta. Instead of boats, giant pumpkins are rowed across a huge body of water, and I’m not making this up. Yes, these amazing pumpkins are so large, that they are turned into floating objects. Every year creative families hollow out the giant gourds and lovingly decorate them until they look like actual racing machines. Brave pumpkin paddlers row them across the Windsor and Falmouth Waterfront, much to the delight of the cheering crowd. This is definitely not a sport for sissies. Many don’t make it to the other end and need to be fished out of the freezing water, but that’s part of the fun. They get picked up by volunteers in rescue boats.
The Annual Pumpkin Regatta takes place every year on the second October weekend at the Windsor and Falmouth Waterfront and I'm pretty sure that the late Howard Dill will be watching from above.