When it was brought to my attention that there was to be a Giant Pumpkin Carnival, I thought that would be a great day out for the family. Hubby the Un-Gardener was more sceptical, and wondered what else was I going to drag my poor long suffering family through. Especially when we woke up on the day of the carnival to heavy persistent rain that can leave you drenched just walking from the house to the car. But we made the decision to brave the elements and drive the hour and a half to Hamilton Gardens to check it out.
The closer we got to the event the more the weather lifted and it turned out to be a good day in more ways than one. When we arrived, pumpkins were being loaded off trucks and trailers with a crane and lowered onto the scales. Our humble pumpkin which probably could do with another couple of months to grow to a size worthy of being displayed publically, wouldn’t have actually brought us horticultural shame. We should have brought it along. The biggest pumpkin there was massive at 754.5kg and broke the New Zealand and Australia record. It was pretty awesome.
The day was filled with so much pumpkin fun. There was a pumpkin bouncy castle, although the boys seem to have out grown bouncy castles. I have to ask myself, “when did they grow up?” But they were more than happy to make vegetable creations at the make your own vegetable creations stand. So maybe not so grown up after all.
There was a fantastic array of pumpkins from teeny tiny ones to artistically altered ones and so many other categories in the carnival. This makes the prospect of winning a cool prize not just restricted to those green thumbs that can grow a whopper in the hundreds of kilos. Even schools had got behind the carnival and entered pumpkins grown lovingly by the students.
It was a marvellous fun day out with great traditional style races for the kids with pumpkin tossing, spud and spoon races, 3 legged races, wheelbarrow races and so much more. Hubby the Un-Gardener and I even had a go at the Mum and Dad pumpkin and shovel races. I didn’t win. I dropped my pumpkin early on in the race. In hindsight going for the small pumpkin was a poor decision.
The day was rounded off with what the boys thought was the best part. All the pumpkins, except the extraordinarily large one, were loaded onto the back of a truck and taken to the top of a large hill. One by one, to the great delight of the crowd the pumpkins were pushed over the brow of the hill where they rolled and bounced all over the place and disintegrating spectacularly as they went.
The final activity of the day was to build tall towers with shattered remains of the pumpkins and the kids were all over it like they had just been offered candy. Half a dozen precariously built stacks emerged from the slimy remains and just like that the field had been tidied up thanks to dozens of little hands eager for a slice of pumpkin glory.
At the end of the day we left feeling quite exhausted and declaring we would be returning not only the following year with many pumpkins in tow, but also sooner rather than later as during the day we snuck off to have a wee peek at the rest of the gardens. Our wee peek didn’t even scratch the surface of all that is good about the gardens, which was declared 2014 Garden of the Year by the International Garden Tourism Network. I’ll leave to a link to the garden >HERE< and a photo that will give you a clue as to how cool it is. I’ll get back to the gardens soon and share it with you. It is too cool not to, especially when I have a world renowned garden in my own backyard! (Well not my actual backyard… but you know what I mean.)
Come again soon – I’m preparing for our local food journey.
Sarah the Gardener : o )
Oh and please check out my apples and my greedy goats in this week’s latest video.