Great gourd almighty
THE TIMES WE LIVED IN:Published on October 26th, 1991 Photograph by Peter Thursfield.
A BIT HEAVY on the pallet? That’s for sure. This hefty 480lb pumpkin was spotted by our eagle-eyed photographer as it was being unloaded on South Anne Street in Dublin. Despite the background sign which reads “sub rolls” and “sandwiches”, however, the giant gourd was never destined to end up in anybody’s bowl of soup.
Instead, it was headed to a nearby gardening shop, where it was put on display in order to persuade customers of the effectiveness of a fertiliser which, by 1991, had produced 50 world records and 19 entries in the Guinness Book of Records.
Not that the passersby in the photograph appears to be particularly impressed – they’re not even stopping to watch as the delivery man measures up to the phenomenal fruit.
The super-squash in our “Mr Pumpkin-Head” photo is, it must be said, a mere sprat compared to the record-breakers of today. A maple farmer from Ontario, Canada, by the name of Jim Bryson has been growing these behemoths for years – and having achieved a whopping 1,818lb specimen in 2011, is determined to achieve the first one-tonne pumpkin in history before he bows out of the game. (That’s 2,000lbs to you and me.) I’m guessing most of us will be happy to settle for more modestly-sized pumpkins when Hallowe’en comes around at the end of this month.
Although a more authentically Irish option would actually be a turnip – a much tougher proposition which, in days of yore, our ancestors carved, lit from inside and left on the doorstep on All Hallows’ Eve to ward off evil spirits. And here was me thinking it was a feat of strength and skill to get one into a pot of winter vegetable soup . . .