Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Smashing Pumpkins

Oily Rag column by Frank and Muriel Newman for the week of 13 May 2013. 

Smashing Pumpkins
By Frank and Muriel Newman

Gardening off the smell of an oily rag should not just be about practical edibles like cabbage, cauli’s and carrots. For fun - giant fun - in the garden, why not try your hand at growing giant pumpkins!

After months of care and attention, tons and tons of manure shovelling, and anxious glances at the weather, giant pumpkin growers from around the country have been weighting in this year’s harvest to see who takes out the ‘Biggest in Show’ title. This year’s whopper was weighed in on the 7th of April at the Hamilton gardens festival. A giant grown by Tim Harris tipped the scales at 577 kg, smashing his last year’s winning entry of 290 kg.

Although the 577 kg pumpkin is a giant, it is still a lightweight compared to the 721 kg whopper grown a couple of years back by the Barton family from Parua Bay (Whangarei). According to the Guinness Book of Records, the world record for the heaviest pumpkin is 824 kg, grown by a Canadian couple from Ontario. That record was set in October 2011.

Every giant pumpkin grower seems to have their own secret to success that is as prized as the formula for Coke, but generally giant pumpkins like what most plants like: sunshine, water, cow manure, fish emulsion, seaweed, and the occasional hug.

All of this takes a bit of planning, so now is the time to learn a little more and get your site ready for a spring planting. To learn more, a good place to start is an everything-you-need-to-know website specifically about giant pumpkins, called www.giantpumkin.co.nz. Sam is the man behind the site, which is very well done and worth a visit, even just out of curiosity.

Sam does a great job at explaining what you need to get started – from what seeds to buy, where to buy them, to how to feed the pumpkins and so on. And he updates his site with news and photos from the many pumpkin growing competitions around the country.

What a great fun way, we thought, to get the family involved in the garden – after all, you will need all the willing helpers you can get to lift your giants at harvest time!

The big question is can you eat a giant pumpkin? Well, yes. Sam says they taste a little like rock melon, but not quite as good. Anyway, it’s probably fair to say that that for the kitchen you are better off growing the regular garden variety, so you should plan to use the giant pumpkin to feed the family pig or house cow. If you grow a whopper you will be able to sell the seeds – there are heaps of giant pumpkin seeds for sale online. Imagine what the seeds from the world’s largest pumpkin would be worth? Now that’s an idea – let’s turn NZ into the world’s largest giant pumpkin patch and boost export dollars by selling pumpkin seeds to the world! We can just see it now, giant pumpkins where sheep and cattle once roamed!

There are lots of ways to cook regular pumpkin - in fact as many ways to cook pumpkin as there are to cook shrimps! There’s “Pumpkin soup, pumpkin jam, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cream, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin chutney, pumpkin croquettes, pumpkin curry, pumpkin  kebabs, pumpkin marmalade, pumpkin fritters, pumpkin bread, pumpkin wine, pumpkin  salad, baked pumpkin, crumbed pumpkin, pan fried pumpkin, deep fried pumpkin, stir-fried pumpkin, pickled pumpkin, BBQ pumpkin …” and that’s about it!

And freezing it is no problem either. GP writes, “Pumpkins freeze well. Cut into meal sized pieces, clean the pulp from the centres and freeze in plastic bags. Do not thaw before using. Straight into the water or roasting dish for cooking. Alternatively, pulp the pumpkins – freeze in ice cream containers, and use for soup or jam as time permits.”

If you have a favourite pumpkin recipe, why not send it in to us so that we can share it with others on the oily rag website at www.oilyrag.co.nz or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.

*Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review And Rap Beefs: Tame Impala, Currents.

Tame Impala’s new album Currents has one of the hallmarks of an enduring album. At first listen it seems like good, if somewhat ordinary, pop but as you go back more and more layers unravel revealing deeply rich, expertly crafted songs. More>>

Flagging Enthusiasm: Gareth Morgan Announces Winner Of $20k Flag Competition

The winner of the Morgan Foundation’s $20,000 flag competition is “Wā kāinga / Home”, designed by Auckland based Studio Alexander. Economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan set up the competition because he had strong views on what the flag should represent but he couldn’t draw one himself. More>>

ALSO:

Books: The Lawson Quins Tell Their Incredible Story

They could have been any family of six children – except that five of them were born at once. It will come as a shock to many older New Zealanders to realise that Saturday July 25 is the Lawson quintuplets’ 50th birthday. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Wartime Women

Coinciding as it does with the movie Imitation Game which focusses on Alan Turing breaking the Enigma code in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park (“BP”), this book is likely to attract a wide readership. It deserves to do so, as it illustrates that BP was very much more than Turing and his colleagues. More>>

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news