This is an unusual obituary, to say the least, but his death cannot be passed over without a word. A few weeks ago, Howard Dill died at the age of 73. Dill was a Canadian farmer who dedicated great effort to producing pumpkins of fairy tale size. The photograph to the left is no hoax. After decades, Dill bred a strain of pumpkins (his Atlantic Giants) whose seeds produced, year after year, pumpkins weighing hundreds of pounds. In 1979, he grew a 438lb pumpkin that he drove to a U.S. competition in the back of his pickup truck. His later agricultural victories exceeded 1,000 lbs. Those he inspired are now breeding pumpkins in search of an eventual one-ton pumpkin. You can read more about it here in The Wall Street Journal.
Also, you can order giant pumpkin seeds here. Just make certain your garden is big enough.
It is worth pausing for a moment to reflect on the quiet wonders that gardeners have given us. Our fast-paced, urban world is often tempted to overlook both crop-growers and gardeners. But many of us remember reading The Secret Garden as children, and longing for a little bit of earth, and some of us were blessed enough to grow up tending our mother's or our father's garden, enjoying the warmth of dark, tilled earth in our hands and reveling in things that grow.
Imagine going to a pumpkin regatta or walking, Charlie-Brown-like, through a patch, and seeing such a pumpkin as the one to the left...one that a carriage might have turned into, at midnight!