They were all reclining on multiple bales of hay like Ingres’s Odalisque in a somewhat regal and enticing fashion, surrounded by a harem of smaller heirloom pumpkins and gourds.
Before the exhibition opened, I arrived early one morning to see the pumpkin aficionados carve an opening in the back of the pumpkin and carefully remove all the seeds. De-seeding the pumpkins is an integral part of the process. Not surprisingly, the seeds are jumbo sized, just like their parents. Seeds of these record-sized pumpkins go to an auction where they are generally sold for $300 a seed. Just last year one of the seeds sold for $1,600.
Breaking developments in the world of giant pumpkin spiders! — How often do you get to write a sentence like that in all seriousness?
Artist Michael Natiello will be here this weekend carving up one of the world’s largest pumpkins. (You might know him as the man behind the Great Jack ‘O Lantern Blaze as well as the Haunted Pumpkin Garden here in the Children’s Adventure Garden).
Weather permitting however, Villafane’s pumpkin creation will only be on display for as long at it stays presentable and also as long as we can keep the wily Bronx wildlife from having their own pumpkin feasts.
For those of you who couldn’t be here last weekend, we put together a short video of Ray in his own words describing his process. All the gory, gourdy goodness is below!
I got a nice surprise this morning when I stopped by the big pumpkins; I found Brant and Elanor Bordsen, of Marysville, Calif. standing beside their beautiful, pearly pumpkin chatting with Garden visitors and staff. I told them I was surprised and excited to see them here (I had no idea they were coming!), and they said that they decided that they wanted to be here when Ray Villafane cut into their 1,693 pounder, to remove the seeds themselves, and to watch the progress of his sculpture. I asked them if they had seen the concept drawing for his sculpture yet. They said no, so I pulled it up on my BlackBerry and showed it to them. They agreed that it was certainly spooky and would be quite the spectacle!
Hold the presses! You know how we told you that beginning October 21, the Garden would be home to the three biggest pumpkins in the U.S.? Well, we lied. Beginning October 21, the Garden will now be home to the four biggest pumpkins in the world! That’s right, we said world.
Just this weekend a new world’s biggest pumpkin was crowned in Canada. Weighing in at 1818.5 pounds and grown by Jim and Kelsey Bryson of Ormstown, Quebec, the new heaviest pumpkin in the world out-weighs last year’s world-record holder (which also called the Garden home for a time) by 8 pounds! Congratulations Jim and Kelsey! We can’t wait to meet you and your great pumpkin.
Beginning Friday, October 21 the three largest pumpkins in the United States will be on display in the Garden’s Visitor Center. Come take a look at Dave and Carol Stelts’ 1,807.5 lb pumpkin grown in Edinburgh, PA. Also, be on the lookout for a plane from California bearing a 1,704 lb pumpkin grown by Leonardo Urena as well as the 1,693 lb pumpkin grown by Brant and Eleanor Bordsen.
Here is a look at the standings for all 1,471 entries at the 54 GPC weigh-off locations nationwide.
Come out and take a look at these giant pumpkins beginning Friday, October 21. Mingle with the giant pumpkin growers, tweet us a picture of yourself with the pumpkins, and don’t miss our first carving weekend featuring Ray Villafane on October 22 and 23.