News Local

Size does matter

The Great Pumpkin paid its annual visit to the Ottawa Valley, and it brought along a few of its friends.

For the fifth year now, Hugli's Blueberry Ranch hosted the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth Sanctioned Giant Pumpkin and Vegetable Weigh-off, which was held Saturday afternoon where massive vegetables weighed and measured to see which could get the bragging rights of being among the biggest on earth.

This continues to make the ranch one of a number of select sites around the world to hold a sanctioned competition.

The weigh-off here attracts growers from Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

This year, there were no world records, such as Pembroke native Brant Timm's 1,131 pound squash, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2006. However, there were a lot of impressive entries for those who do not possess a green thumb.

The official results of the 2010 weigh-off are as follows.

In the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin category, first place went to Phil and Jane Hunt, with their 1,329.7 lb entry. Glenn and Meagan Cheam were a close second with a 1,309.7 lb pumpkin, while Brant and Brandon Timm placed third with a 1,267.8 lb pumpkin.

Placing fourth was Todd Kline, with a 1,096.7 lb entry, Jim and Kelsey Bryson were fifth with 1091.1 lbs, John Vincent sixth with 935.9 lbs, and Graham Gould seventh with 424.8 lbs.

Todd Kline also had an exhibit pumpkin weighing 923.6 lbs, while entries by Jim and Kelsey Bryson at 1,419.4 lbs and Brant and Brandon Timm at 1,182.3 lbs were dam-a ged and thus couldn't be included in the official competition.

In the heaviest squash category, Brant and Brandon Timm owned the field with a 786.1 lb entry.

In the field pumpkin category, Allan Eaton placed first with a 64.4 lb pumpkin, in second place was Heidi Hugli with her 42.7 lb entry, in third was her brother Will Hugli, who grew a 39.1 lb pumpkin, and in fourth place was John Vincent with a 33.6 lb pumpkin.

In the long gourd category, Allan Eaton placed first with a gourd measuring 108.75 inches, in second place was Phil and Jane Hunt with a 106.13 inch gourd, and in third was Brant and Brandon Timm, who grew a gourd 102.5 inches long. In fourth place was Todd Kline, with a 102-inch gourd, in fifth place was John Vincent with a 96.69-inch gourd, and in sixth was Glenn and Meagan Cheam with a gourd 80.13 inches long.

In the heaviest watermelon category, in first place was Phil and Jane Hunt, who grew a 133.6 lbs melon. Bradyn and Ethan Timm were in second place with a 86.6 lbs entry, John Vincent placed third with a 42.4 lb melon, and Laura Bryson was fourth with a 32.8 lb watermelon.

In the tallest corn category, Glenn and Meagan Cheam placed first with a 221.5 inch tall stalk, while in second place was Brant and Brandon Timm with a 186.75 inch plant.

In the heaviest tomato category, Brant and Brandon Timm took home the prize with their 4.872 lb entry. In second was Glenn and Meagan Cheam with a 1.276 lb tomato.

The Timms also exhibited tomatoes weighing 3.785 lbs, 3.796 lbs and 4.276 lbs. These were display tomatoes only as the rules allow only one entry per person. The competition was the highlight of the second weekend of Rural Ramble, which this time focused on agriculture and food.

A bakers dozen of sites scat-t e re d around the county invited visitors to take the self-g uided tour to learn about organic and free-range farming, produce production and harvesting.

The public had the chance to visit a maple syrup operation at Mapleside Sugar Bush, check out alpacas at Ballintotas Alpacas, learn abut horse grooming and calf roping at Frontier Trails, or discover the workings of the Ottawa Valley Food Co-op and the Ottawa River Institute at Dobson's Grass fed Beef Farm.

Visitors also could try their luck at catching trout at the Red Wolf Retreat and Fishing Reserve, learn about making soap from the Opeongo Mountain Meadow Soap, or pop by local farms and see their friendly animal such as the Tickle Island Farm or Waddles N Wags Hobby Farm. The ramble wraps up Oct. 2 and 3 with a focus on arts and culture, history and heritage.

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer reporter