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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : February 18th 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, February 19, 2009 19 NEWS Molong farmer Robert Ellis in his pumpkin patch. Your pumpkin's quite a big deal MOLONG vegie gardener Robert Ellis has issued a challenge to Sydney's back- yard pumpkin growers. He reckons bush gar- deners can grow bigger vegies than anyone in the city. Mr Ellis, 68, a retired shearer, says about 100 resi- dents of Molong, a town of 2000 people about 270km north-west of Sydney near Orange, have put 600 seeds in the ground. ''In fact, I've got one in my backyard right now that's six feet around the girth,'' Mr Ellis boasts. ''I reckon I'd like to see a bit of country-versus-city rivalry. ''I've got a one-acre garden fed by bore water and just a bit of expertise, but I seem to be the bloke to beat around here. ''I've got 20 pumpkins in. They look good at this stage. ''I'll produce one or two good giants for the local Molong competition in May. But our town would like to take on Sydney. ''We'll make sure we get a pumpkin down to Sydney.'' So, there's the challenge. There's money to be won in the Cumberland and Courier Newspapers Great Giant Pumpkin Challenge. But, there's now the honour of our city at stake -- and the chance to show our bush cousins our gargan- tuan talents. Mr Ellis is the organiser of the Molong giant pump- kin competition and, through the giant pumpkin grapevine, he heard about Cumberland and Courier Newspapers Great Giant Pumpkin Challenge. Mr Ellis is free with his growing secrets. ''Growing these things is good for a laugh,'' he muses. It's got great skiting value. ''There's a bit of glory you know in growing the biggest pumpkin in your street. ''All you need is a good bit of ground in a sunny pos- ition. But not too much sun . . . protect them with shade cloth or a beach umbrella. ''You need to cut out half the summer sunlight.'' Giants thrive on nutri- ents. ''I've got a big old bath with a concoction of chook and sheep manure, and worm castings,'' he said. ''I top it up with water and let it ferment for three or four weeks,'' Mr Ellis said. ''Give it a good stir and pour that lot on every three weeks. They love it.'' Turn your green thumb into cash Tell us about your giant pumpkins. Go to www.innerwestweekly.com.au, click on Groups and find our chat session called pumpkins. HUNDREDS of Sydney and Central Coast readers have now signed up for the Cumberland and Courier Newspapers Great Giant Pumpkin Challenge. Pumpkins will go on display at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The categories include giant pumpkin, best decorated pumpkin (pumpkins need not be ripe), most unusual shape (pumpkins need not be ripe), celebrity look-alike pumpkin (pumpkins need not be ripe) and the smallest (pumpkins MUST BE ripe). The giant pumpkin winner will receive $2000 and there'll be $500 worth of prizes for the winners of the other categories.
February 11th 2009
February 25th 2009