By Gary Schatan
29 Oct 2012
The largest pumpkins in the world reside this time of the year in the foggy central coast town of Half Moon Bay, California. As October rolls around each year, so do a select group of farmers and growers who specialize in producing a hybrid variety of pumpkins that are awe inspiring both in weight and size.
The Pumpkin Depot is a small roadside farm just above Half Moon Bay. It becomes a busy section of Highway 1 where Carl Skoloski oversees the business of huge pumpkins as they are trucked in from various parts of California and the Western United States. These huge orbs are unique in that they are specially crossbred and then raised for their enormous size; typically they can grow over 1500 pounds.
I stopped by the Pumpkin Patch one day just by accident, when I observed a huge semi truck being loaded with 1000 pound pumpkins by a forklift. I found out that these large alien passengers were being shipped to China for exhibition. It was then that I met the head honcho and he soon introduced me to his world. I was taken by the engaging scene I discovered and appreciated the opportunity to photograph the select family of giants found in and around his property.
Later on Carl graciously invited me to the annual BBQ and party he throws for the growers on the Sunday evening before the official Monday morning weigh-in sponsored by Safeway. During the party I got to meet the growers and I was introduced to the life and passion that surrounds the art of growing these incredible gourds. I feel honored to be an outsider who was welcomed into their world of behemoths....