The Giant Pumpkin Competition is a fun event for children of all ages

Children growing pumpkins

by Ann van Engelen

The time has come for people interested in competing at the Malvern A&P Show Giant Pumpkin Competition to get their produce growing.

“Anyone can enter including people from out of the area, young and old. It is exciting to have a good range of competitors with people growing a few varieties,” says show convener Kara Taogaga.

“For those new to growing, Atlantic Giant seeds grow big pumpkin.

“We have found these seeds on Trade Me and places like Mitre 10. Purchasing seedlings is also a good way to get started.

“My partner Brendon grows seedlings and donates them to schools because you can’t guarantee the seeds sprout.

“We like encouraging and educating children about growing, so they have the opportunity to be self-sufficient when they are older.”

Brendon says to get a good pumpkin, ensure it gets nine litres of water each day.

“Once it is the size of a softball cover it with an old towel or a shelter to keep it greeny-yellow, because once they go bright orange they stop growing.

“It is a fun event for children, and we also have the Spud in a bucket for schools and younger children. They grow a spud in a 10-litre bucket to try for the heaviest harvest. We are looking for sponsors for the competition to help with the prizes to make the event even more fun.

“It is about celebrating the community and learning along the way.

“There is the open competition, children’s veggie competition and a school category. There is a $5 entry fee for the open competition. First prize is $75, second prize $50 and third is $25.”

The show is on Saturday, March 28 at the Sheffield Showgrounds. Online entries open in January or preregister at Malvernshow@gmail.com.