Pumpkins reigned supreme at the fifth annual “Goliat van Gat” pumpkin festival held recently at the Pioneer Museum in Pretoria. Farmers and pumpkin enthusiasts gathered to witness the heaviest, worst-looking, most unusual and best-dressed pumpkins. C reated by the Cullinan Farmers’ Union in cooperation with Radio Pretoria, Volkshulp 2000 and the Pioneer Museum, “Goliat van Gat” is the South African version of a gigantic pumpkin, which was developed in America. Cullinan Farmers’ Union’s Henri Combrink said the competition has a dual purpose: to bring city people into contact with the challenges and joys of farming and to give to charity through Volkshulp 2000. All the pumpkins entered into the competition are donated to Volkshulp 2000. The South African Council for the Blind was also involved in the project and boasts a pumpkin patch of their own. he world record weight for a pumpkin is 665kg. “But the pumpkins in South Africa still have a long way to go,” said Combrink. “The winning pumpkin in 2007 was grown by Drikus Kleinhans and weighed in at a whopping 224,7kg. This is also the current South African record.” This year Drikus won again, but he had some help from his friend Kobus Pienaar. The Atlantic Giant specimen weighed in at 195,3kg. “Organically grown and fed on chicken and horse manure, with regular helpings of kelp is the sure-fire recipe for a mammoth pumpkin,” said Pienaar. The pumpkin was not cultivated on a farm, but in Pienaar’s backyard in Sasolburg. “It’s all the petrol fumes that helped it grow this big,” he joked. – Cornelia du Plooy
Pumpkins reigned supreme at the fifth annual “Goliat van Gat” pumpkin festival held recently at the Pioneer Museum in Pretoria.
Issue date: 04 April 2008
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