Half Moon Wow: Gourds of Gargantuan-o-sity | NBC Bay Area
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Half Moon Wow: Gourds of Gargantuan-o-sity

The famous Pumpkin Festival is a two-dayer, but the wonders, and weighing, begin days ahead of time.

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    The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 10. What patch-grown giants'll maybe tip the scales at 2,000+ pounds? (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    IF A PUMPKIN PIE... is in your fall baking plans, or perhaps some pumpkin spice cookies, you know that it takes rather more effort than simply waving a spatula, magic wand-style, over a cookie sheet or pan. You need to visit your pantry, see what you need to buy, then call upon the market, then line up the ingredients, and... you get the point. Same goes for growing some of the world's most colossal vine-born specimens, the kind of globular fruits that seem straight out of a fairy tale. You simply cannot wave a shovel or a rake over your pumpkin patch, magic wand-style, and produce a behemoth that crosses the 2,000-pound mark. You need to tend to it, over time, with water and care and sunlight and all that a pumpkin craves. To salute this sort of tenacity, and to eye some truly "that can't be real (but is)" pumpkinry, turn your gaze to Half Moon Bay, where The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off will take to the scales on...

    MONDAY, OCT. 10: And they say nothing whimsical or outstanding happens on the first day of the week. This always-on-a-Monday showdown happens a few days ahead of the town's huge Pumpkin Festival, and the big machinery is out, the better to forklift the competing stem-topped contestants. Will any of the super squashes best the set-in-Europe-in-2014 world record of 2,323, courtesy of pumpkin-growing pro Beni Meier of Switzerland? West Coast growers'll be out with their best picks of 2016, the kind of pumpkins that need to arrive in Half Moon Bay in the bed of a pick-up. You can eye the astounding numbers from 2015, including the chart-topping 1,969-pound "vanilla-colored whopper that clobbered the formidable field of gourd growing greats..." Truly, this is not an easy feat, neither the vine-tending, making-it-thrive part, nor the part where the grower gets it to Half Moon Bay in one smooth-of-skin, no-seedy-stringy-guts piece. To be astounded, charmed, and feel all that fall sparkle, be at the weigh-off or peek at the action here.