PHOTOS: Quesnel Farmers’ Market gearing up for giant pumpkin weigh-in

Shane Stobbe and Mariah Kampman sell produce from Back 40 Ranch and Garden Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. There are three more Saturday markets this fall, and the Quesnel Farmers’ Market has announced there will be no indoor Christmas Markets this year. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Shane Stobbe and Mariah Kampman sell produce from Back 40 Ranch and Garden Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. There are three more Saturday markets this fall, and the Quesnel Farmers’ Market has announced there will be no indoor Christmas Markets this year. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Brett Qually of Cariboo Custom Creations shares some of his handcrafted leather multi-tool cases and a belt while working his booth Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Brett Qually of Cariboo Custom Creations shares some of his handcrafted leather multi-tool cases and a belt while working his booth Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Cathy Manning of The Calico Building Company sells her wall decor Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Cathy Manning of The Calico Building Company sells her wall decor Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Grant Hill of Pause to Feathers Creations sells his handcrafted feeders and houses, as well as his photographs featuring wildlife, birds and nature, Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Grant Hill of Pause to Feathers Creations sells his handcrafted feeders and houses, as well as his photographs featuring wildlife, birds and nature, Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Roseann Doerksen’s wool slippers with leather soles make a colourful and cozy display Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Roseann Doerksen’s wool slippers with leather soles make a colourful and cozy display Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
A colourful array of vegetables greets customers at the Kosters’ Farm and Garden booth Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)A colourful array of vegetables greets customers at the Kosters’ Farm and Garden booth Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Sam Riczu of Big Fire Farm sells pink and yellow watermelon Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Sam Riczu of Big Fire Farm sells pink and yellow watermelon Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

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 qnlmanager@gmail.com, 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

READ MORE: Quesnel Farmers’ Market welcomes back non-food vendors



editor@quesnelobserver.com

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