As a geneticist I have quirks. One of those is a particular fascination with genes that generate exceptional performance. I would actually rather be known as the guy who produced the seed which grew a world record than the guy who actually grew the world record - go figure, but that is how it is.
There are many places where you can obtain outstanding world class seeds. The club auctions and seed exchange forums on BigPumpkins.com as well as the club sites are some of the best and we highly recommend them. Our seed offerings are just an additional option. Our program is designed to put outstanding genetics in the hands of as many growers as possible at the lowest possible price and to use the resulting data to move the breeding program forward.
We grow eight to ten pumpkin plants each season. Some are grown for competition (meaning only one pumpkin will be allowed to grow on a plant), but often some of the plants are specifically grown for seeds and several pumpkins (each crossed to a different pollinator) will be grown on a plant. This will of course result in smaller weights, but seeds which are genetically no less promising. For example, at some point we want to grow a 1385.5-Jutras-07 and produce four pumpkins: one selfed and one each pollinated by 904-Stelts-06, 1409.5-Miller-10 and 1775-Starr-12. In this scenario, there just are not many 1385’s still available and so we won’t have the option of growing four individual 1385 plants.
Our 2014 Seed Offering is our first and is a bit of a trial run. I have been a practicing geneticist for over 40 years and while I obviously don’t know it all and still have lots to learn about genetics, I feel very comfortable in my pumpkin “geneticist” role. On the other hand I have only been growing pumpkins for four years and in my role as a pumpkin “grower” I am greener than green. My first year resulted in a 197.5 pounder and my second year under achieved that with a 144 pounder. My third year was a little better but my pumpkin was damaged and did not make it to the weigh off. In 2013 I got serious and learned (for the first time) many of the basics that I should have known all along. I started 10 plants and had three that produced some good pumpkins (the best being 666 pounds). Still, I made many critical errors and I was the biggest limiting factor. The genetic stock though in 2013 was outstanding and I believe I have some seeds that will be useful. One of the mistakes I made in 2013 was to not maintain isles between the plants and so I ended up with a 60 foot by 100 foot jungle that grew some good pumpkins, but too many on a plant and most were open pollinated. We won’t be making that mistake again!
Our seed policy is to make 60% of all seeds harvested available to the hobby for the cost of shipping in the two growing seasons after harvest. These seeds are available directly to growers or clubs (for fund raisers) from this web site (instructions are below). After the second year, seeds will be available at individually set prices.
So, here is the seed offering for 2014. These seeds are also available for 2015:
1) 308-Shewmaker-13: 220.3-DeBacco-13 (2009-Wallace-12 x 1725-Harp-09) aka “Snowball” X OPEN
2) 403-Shewmaker-13: 1443.5-Ellsworth-11 (1725-Harp-09 X 1810.5-Stevens-10) “Same breeding as “The Freak” X OPEN
3) 312-Shewmaker-13: 1655-Ford/Given-12 (1789-Wallace-11 aka “The Freak” x self) X OPEN
Here are the other plants in the patch which also could have been the pollination source (there were no other pumpkins grown within a mile):
1872-Wallace-12 (1789-Wallace-11 x 1807.5-Stelts-11)
1413.5-Werner-08 (1556.5-Werner-07 x 1385.5-Jutras-07)
1126-Ceja-12 (1161-Rodonis-07 x self)
I also have one seed for which pollination was controlled:
4) 666-Shewmaker-13: 1443.5-Ellsworth-11 (1725-Harp-09 X 1810.5-Stevens-10) “Same breeding as “The Freak” X SELF
Germination tests were done for each of the pumpkins from which seeds were harvested. Seeds will be available for shipping after January 15th 2014
No seeds were harvested in 2014.
If You Order:
Please plant the seed(s). This offer is not intended for collectors. There are two seeds in each packet so that you can start both and keep the one that grows the best.
Please report back at the end of the season and let us know how it did.
How To Order:
All seeds are purchased through Paypal ( www.paypal.com):
The price is $5 if the order is to be sent to a US address. Each packet will contain two seeds of the selected pumpkin. I will provide the bubble envelope and pay the postage. If you will plant them you may request seeds from any or all of the three sets I have available and they will be all be included in the $5 price.
The price is $10 for orders to be sent outside of the US.
Please include in the comment section:
I will indicate on this site when a particular seed is sold out. Should you make a Paypal payment and the seeds selected are sold out, I will reverse the Paypal payment so you are not out any money.