Monster pumpkins descend on Malvern
PUBLISHED: 09:57 26 September 2013 | UPDATED: 10:55 26 September 2013
The Malvern Autumn Show is an opportunity for visitors to enjoy a display of ten enormous pumpkins as their amateur growers compete in the UK National Giant Vegetables Championship
In vegetable growing circles, Morton, Illinois, is the undisputed pumpkin growing capital of the world.
Yet this weekend, thousands of miles away in the heart of the British countryside, monster specimens of this fascinating fruit will be on display at the Malvern Autumn Show from September, 28 and 29.
Ten huge pumpkins, lovingly nurtured and carefully transported across the country by amateur growers, are among a bumper crop of 270 giant vegetables, ranging from parsnips, onions and marrows, to leeks, carrots and runner beans – all of them entered into the prestigious UK National Giant Vegetables Championship.
The competition makes its debut at the Three Counties Showground in Worcestershire this year, following its move from Somerset’s Royal Bath & West Showground where it has been staged since 1997.
The giants will arrive at Malvern on the eve of the Show, where they will be weighed in, courtesy of industrial strength scales.
Pumpkins are indigenous to the western hemisphere and were completely unknown in Europe before the time of Columbus, although they have been grown in America for over 5,000 years!
Like gourds and other varieties of squash, they belong to the Cucurbitacae family, which also includes cucumbers and gherkins, and in the peak growing season a giant pumpkin can gain 50lbs in weight per day.
The name comes from ‘pepon’ – the Greek word for large melon, and they will grow anywhere in the world with the exception of Antartica!
The new competition complements the show’s already famous amateur growing exhibition of fruits, vegetables and cut flowers, on display to some 60,000 visitors over the weekend.
The event is a celebration of food, gardening and nostalgia, and boasts one of the largest gatherings of amateur growers in the country. Each year it takes delivery of some of the UK’s largest produce.
Open Gardening is just one of a whole host of features at the 2013 Show, which includes a Good Life Pavilion with edible gardens and Britain’s favourite baker, Mary Berry as a headline guest (Saturday only).
Other attractions include a Vintage Village with free jive lessons, grow your own demonstrations, a Royal Horticultural Flower Show, a cookery theatre, an artisan food market, native livestock, country pursuits and crafts, a children’s Discovery Zone, family entertainment and around 600 quality trade stands offering retail therapy for all.
For more information, visit: http://www.threecounties.co.uk/malvernautumn/