Terry's big pumpkin

Chairman of the Toco/Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Terry Rondon says he has reaped a pumpkin weighing more than 100 pounds from his garden at Toco.

Rondon brought the pumpkin to share with his local government colleagues during a consultation with Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein, held at the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation.

In a brief interview, Rondon said he got the seeds and decided to plant them.

 "I had no idea it will get to this size so I decided to bring this one and share it up," Rondon said. He added that there were more unusually large pumpkins growing in his field at Toco.

Agriculture economist Omardath Maharaj said a pumpkin of that size was unusual as regular pumpkins grown in T&T weighed between a few pounds to 30 plus pounds.

"It could be a different variety of seeds. I would like to look at it to determine whether it was the result of plant science," he said. Maharaj noted that the Chinese squash pumpkin, a product of Chinese plant science, is now popular in T&T and brings higher returns for farmers.

He said traditionally, the crapaud back pumpkin growing in T&T resulted in wastage.

"When a farmer cuts a few slices of a crapaud-back pumpkin to sell, most times the rest of the pumpkin is wasted. With the Chinese squash, the farmer has the opportunity to sell the entire pumpkin so there is no wastage."

He said giant pumpkins could be grown for industries and farms that deal with processing. 

More on pumpkins

Pump­kins (Cu­cur­bi­ta moscha­ta) are wide­ly grown for com­mer­cial use in the Caribbean. Gi­ant pump­kins are a large squash (with­in the group of com­mon squash Cu­cur­bi­ta max­i­ma) that can ex­ceed one ton (2,000 pounds) in weight.

First, cul­ti­vat­ed in the Amer­i­c­as be­fore be­ing brought to Eu­rope by re­turn­ing ex­plor­ers af­ter their dis­cov­ery of the New World, plants in the genus Cu­cur­bi­ta are im­por­tant sources of hu­man food and oil. In Trinidad, pump­kin is cul­ti­vat­ed through­out the year and is one of the ma­jor ex­port crops. It is al­so an im­por­tant food cooked for Hin­du wed­dings and re­li­gious fes­ti­vals.

 - by Radhica De Silva