Giant Fruit and Vegetable Contest
UH CTAHR Molokai Extension News Release
The Hawaii County 4-H program Giant Fruit and Vegetable Program is expanding to Molokai and Oahu this year.
“The Hawaii County Contest got its start back in 2012, as part of a collaboration with a local farmer and is sponsored through the Hawaii 4-H Junior Master Gardener Program,” said Oahu County 4-H Agent Christine Hanakawa. “It first started as a giant pumpkin contest, but over the years has grown to include many other giant fruits and vegetables.”
Beck Settlage, Hawaii County 4-H Agent, who started the Hawaii County Program, said, “Although we started as a giant pumpkin contest, Hawaii County has expanded to include giant tomatoes, giant watermelons, giant bushel gourd, long gourds, giant sunflower heads and in 2021 has added giant cabbage and giant field pumpkins.” She added, “We are excited to expand the program to include Molokai and Oahu.”
The Molokai expansion for 2021 will include Giant Pumpkins and Giant Bushel Gourds for an on-island fall contest (date and time TBA). Molokai space is limited to 10 ‘ohana in the Giant Pumpkin Contest and 10 ‘ohana in the Bushel Gourd Contest. Spaces will be filled on a first come, first qualify basis.
“The project is educational in nature, however, the goal is not producing a bumper crop to eat,” said Jennifer Hawkins, UH CTAHR Molokai Edible Crops Extension Agent. “The goal is to grow a giant fruit/vegetable for fun, friendly competition. Some do end up eating their giants, but at the most, your goal is to produce one, maybe two fruit or vegetables per plant. Those who enroll in the program must choose only one crop and will receive one to two pumpkin or one to two bushel gourd plants from the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Molokai Extension Office. Only produce from these plants will be eligible to enter the contest.”
There will be a series of virtual workshops to help participants prepare before receiving their plants. At least one person in your ‘ohana needs gardening experience in order to qualify. If you and/or your ‘ohana are interested in this friendly and fun competition, you can sign up to receive additional information by emailing Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than July 30 at noon. Use the subject line Giant Pumpkin or Giant Gourd. Send your name, address, telephone number, and whether you are interested in the Giant Pumpkin Contest or the Giant Bushel Gourd Contest. Hawkins looks forward to hearing from those who are interested in the program. It is always exciting to see multiple generations working together in agriculture!