Way back in the month of May, about the time the lilacs were blooming and somewhat before the first mosquitoes hatched, many of Quesnel’s greenest-thumbed gardeners were scheming, planning and planting. They wanted to grow pumpkins. Not just pumpkins, but giant pumpkins. Prize-winning pumpkins.
Selecting an especially sunny and warm location, they prepared the soil with lots of compost, and shaped the hills into which they planted the seeds. After watering, the seeds were tarped with plastic to trap in heat and to discourage birds from sampling tender sprouts. Then, the waiting began.
First, about a week into it, the germinates emerge. But the cool June weather does little to encourage growth, and it takes a full month before the first flowers appear and, finally, the beginnings for the first fruits. Will these be the big ones? More waiting, watering and wishing.
Well, the waiting is almost over. Local giant pumpkins will be facing off on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. Competition will be slightly different this year, adjusted for pandemic concerns.
Pumpkins will be entered and weighed separately, starting at 9 a.m. Contestants are required to pre-register via email to Market Manager Tim Cawdell at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will then assign a weigh-in time. The results, along with the giant pumpkins, will be presented on the market stage for customers to view during the course of the market. Prizes of $100, $50, and $25 in Market Bucks will be awarded.
The Quesnel Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from May through Oct. 17 at the Helen Dixon School grounds at the corner of Kinchant Street and Carson Avenue from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. It is time to stock up on winter vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets, onions, celery root, parsnips, etc.) and a great opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts and crafts.
— Submitted by Rob Borsato