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The pursuit of the Great Pumpkin among Rhode Island gardeners becomes the passion of Texas-based Wall Street Journal bureau chief Warren in this gently ironic, thoroughly engaging work. Growing the world's heaviest pumpkin (the record tops around 1,500 pounds) has become an international sport, requiring full-time planning and cultivation, and amply rewarded in prizes at fairs and in TV appearances. Warren focuses on a group of winners among the Rhode Island club of growers, led by father and son duo Dick and Ron Wallace, who live south of Providence. She follows their fastidious planning over the 2006 growing season, from early tilling of a new patch of land (they burned out the old patch by pouring in too many supplements and fertilizers) to careful selection of seeds from previous monster prizewinners via online auctions, then germinating seedlings in an incubation chamber; this is followed by a strict planting, culling, watering and fertilizing schedule. While wives feel neglected, the men obsessively care for their pumpkin patches, coaxing the behemoths to amass 30 pounds a day at peak growth, and fending off destroyers such as deer, foaming stump slime and cracks in the shell. Each of these growers shares tales of heartbreak, but Warren peaks the anticipation with the big fall weigh-ins, lending a humorous, poignant touch to this hearty gardener's tale. (Sept.)
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It's not only Charles Schulz's Linus who waits every year for a Great Pumpkin to come along. All over the country, from Rhode Island to California, Ohio to Washington, legions of men (and not a few women) eagerly anticipate great pumpkins of their ownliterally. Audacious, obsessive gardeners, they have dreamed and planned, watered and weeded, pruned and fertilized, coddled and agonized over a bumper crop of pumpkins, hoping to nurture one worthy of "world's largest" honors. To do that, it will have to weigh in at close to 1,500 pounds and approximate a Volkswagen Beetle in girth. Accompanying father-and-son pumpkin growers and competitors Dick and Ron Wallace throughout a roller-coaster season, Warren experiences it all, from foaming slime to marauding mice. As bank accounts dwindle and ulcers blossom, Warren's hilarious yet enlightening exposé reveals why and how these passionate, peculiar, and painstaking pumpkin growers are willing to put it all on the line for one bigone very bigpayoff. Haggas, CarolSee all Editorial Reviews
This book is for anyone who grows pumpkins,either for fun or profit(small scale).The trials and tribulations of growing
mega pumpkins makes this book a nail biter.Honest. Read more
I have wished for a very, very large pumpkin all my life. This is a wonder story, not only full of advice but full of ideas.Published on July 1, 2013 by pat
I am very disappointed in this book. I planned on giving it as a gift with some seeds, but the jacket of the book is spotted to the point that I cannot give it as a gift. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by Christy
I found this true story incredibly fascinating. In a way, it reminded me of the Orchid Thief, by drawing me into a subculture I never knew existed, where otherwise ordinary people... Read morePublished on October 10, 2012 by John C.
I grew my first Dill pumpkin last year. I started my pumpkins sometime in June and in only 1 square foot of land as a joke to harass my mother at her house.... Read morePublished on May 15, 2012 by Bean Slap
A great book for anyone interested in the hobby/sport/profession of giant pumpkin growing. As you read, not only is the history of giant growing revealed but methods used to go... Read morePublished on February 12, 2010 by L. Weston
Wall Street Journal bureau chief Susan Warren follows one year in the life (weigh in to weigh in) of father and son pumpkin growing duo Dick and Ron Wallace in their (not... Read morePublished on November 20, 2009 by The Itsy Bitsy
Here you will find it unbelievable that some people have so much time on their hands to study this oddity of growing giant squashes. Read morePublished on July 8, 2009 by Anonymous