Some hollow it out, carve it and use it as Halloween decoration . Others use it in the kitchen and make fabulous curries or soup out of it. Farmers and vegetable growers use it for a contest. It is almost Halloween and the giant pumkin competion has left its trace in the Dutch countryside.
Stories of Leiden farmers
Visiting the cheese farms near Leiden really makes me happy. It’s the combination of the location, the people and the monumental buildings. The people are busy bees. Dairy farmers with a farm to run. And still. Still they take time to tell you everything you want to know about cheese making. They make you taste cheese untill you’re completely full. The farms are monumental buildings with thatched roofs and colored window shutters that remind us of counts and governors in olden days. These dairy farms can only be reached when you cross the countryside near Leiden. Cycle straight through the polders: the green meadows surrounded by canals and ditches, all kept dry by that typical Dutch windmill.
The cheese farm near Leiden that grows Dutch pumkins
In and around the Dutch farms is a lot more happening than you realise. Last time I visited my favorite cheese farmer near Leiden I saw these gigantic pumpkins at her doorstep. She was happy that I noticed. “Halloween and the giant pumpkin competition. They’re almost synonym to us”, she told me. “We hold a contest every year. The whole community brings their pumpkin. You should see the ways in which they transport them! All pumpkins are weighed and a jury decides on a winner. These ones are actually quite small. The winners of the great pumkin competition are usually between 100 and 200 kilo”.
Halloween and the giant pumpkin competition in the Netherlands
Never before had I heard of such a contest. Then again, the pumpkin harvest is huge in fall. Halloween and the giant pumkin competition are really great opportunities to show your creativity and make it a real fall celebration. In Holland they clearly use the fall pumpkin harvest to create a community event. I love it!
By the way, this giant vegetable contest is not just held around Leiden. All over the Netherlands farmer communities come together and decide which is the heaviest pumpkin. In 2018 a pumpkin grower from Zwolle region earned the title of Winner of the Giant Vegetable Championship with his pumpkin of 510!! kilo.
The other day I cycled in Gouda region and saw these giants. They must have held the pumpkin contest here as well!
So, there is only one thing you have to be scared of this year. That’s Halloween and the giant pumpkin competition in the Netherlands.
Have you see traces of these enormous vegetables in the streets in the Dutch countryside?
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