Pumpkins and October go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it comes as no surprise that this weekend marks the New York Botanical Garden’s Giant Pumpkin Weekend.
On Oct. 22 and 23 these gargantuan gourds are gathered from all over the globe, leaving visitors in awe of their sheer size. The New York Botanical Garden will hold Q&A sessions during the event so growers can share some of their tips on how the pumpkins reached such significant sizes.
The Giant Pumpkin Weekend is held in collaboration with the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC), which is the governing body of over 80 weigh-off sites worldwide. The winning pumpkins from these various weigh-offs are displayed in the botanical garden.
Part of the GPC’s goal is to show how organic techniques can result in extreme fruit development while still being environmentally friendly.
The pumpkins are on display through Oct. 30. Some can weigh up to 1,800 pounds. In the past, sculptor and artist Ray Villafane has transformed the largest of the monstrous pumpkins into a creative carving that looked like a zombie crawling out of the pulp.
Last year he chose a Day of the Dead theme for his pumpkin-based sculpture.
This year Villafane will be exploring the history of scarecrows with his installation Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror. Visitors to the gardens can see recreations of what scarecrows looked like from the years of the early settlers to the current pop culture depictions.
There are plenty of other pumpkin and Halloween-themed events at the New York Botanical Garden this month, so if you happen to be in the Bronx, stop by for some chills and thrills.