The Great Pumpkin Adventures of Diana Doucet
Chapter Seven - Your Time is Gonna Come
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Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care

For long you live and high you fly
And smiles you give and tears you cry

All you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be

Sept. 12 Contacted by a producer with KPIX channel 5 regarding doing a story on their Evening Magazine segment about the Goddesses. I agreed.  It turns out that Jon Hunt had sent the news hounds my way.  Thanks Jon you made my pumpkins famous.

A Bird's Eye View of Hera in Her Sanctuary

Sept. 18 Hera has taken on a massive form and is growing strongly.  I begin to sense that she is headed for greatness.  I post several pictures ( pic 1, pic 2, pic 3 ) of her on the mallorn pumpkin list and start getting wild over-estimations of her size.  Hera has sworn me to secrecy so I remain mum.
Sept. 19 Now battling a Northern California heat wave.  It hit 100 in the shade yesterday after two days in the high nineties.  Aphrodite may be done.  No growth for the third day now and she's started throwing female flowers all over the place.


Olivia Poses With the 8 Foot Tomatoes

Sept. 20 Now I know why Aphrodite, the goddess of sexuality, was also the goddess of fertility.  Today I found a
six foot length of teriary vine with ten pumpkins on it.  ( picture ) Eight pumpkins had formed on a section of vine 10 leaf junctions long.  Two more female flowers were starting a few leaf junctions further out.  I also removed half a dozen set pumpkins from all over the plant. Pretty amazing stuff.


The Doucet Dough Dressing - Hera's Split Two Weeks Later

Sept. 22
Checking Hera's stem this morning, I was horrified to find that she was tearing away from her physical bonds to the earth.  The top of the stem has a two inch ragged tear that has been oozing.  The flesh around the tear was brown and soft.  I think she thought she could fly.

She has grown so much that she pulled the vine up tight and was tearing away.  I relieved the stem stress and when I was treating the torn area with Capton I found a split under the stem.  The split is about four inches long and starts in the base of the stem and carries into the body.   It is 3/8ths of an inch wide at the widest and up to three inches deep. This split appears to be entirely the result of the stem stress.  A stupid rookie mistake.

I brushed it down with Capton powder daily for two days.  When it appeared dry and stable, I made up some flour dough and then rolled the dough in Capton powder.  I kneaded in about two teaspoons of Capton powder and pushed the mix into the split to seal it.  The dough dried out and left a hard patch inside the split.  The patch keeps the bugs and air out of the split and also wicks out any moisture from inside the split. 

Two weeks later after harvest, I pulled the dough out of the split and the flesh was still hard and firm.  The split where it went int o the body of the pumpkin healed and pushed the dough out.  I plugged the hole remaining in the stem with silicon rubber sealer  after filling the cavity in the stem with Capton.


Stine's Last Pose as the infamous Diana Doucet

Oct. 5 Diana Doucet Undressed - Faced with the upcoming Half Moon Bay weigh off and the fact that my model, Stine, has left for Germany, I remove Diana Doucet's digital graphics mask for the Mallorn pumpkin list  and reveal that Diana Doucet is just my pen name.   Behind the mask is Vince, an old married guy and his family. ( pictures )  Some mallorn members are shocked, some fall off their chairs laughing, some go insane.  When the emails stop flying, the yuks and laughs have it over the hollers and groans by 10 to 1.
To my utter dismay, Hera started a metamorphous into a horrendous squash.  By the time of my lifting party she was 50%-60% blue-green. She floats in a sea of remorse now, a  hideous green next to her temple of beans. ( picture )  Her only glory will be to scare little children for Halloween. So much for her dreams of tooling around in a new Ford truck.  Final measurements were 341 ott, (139" circ, 96", 106") 778 pounds est.  She will never be officially weighed.


Channel 5 Films the Lifting Party

Oct. 7
The day of the lifting party.  First the main course from New York arrives, then the camera crew and last my neighbors and friends to help lift Athena and Aphrodite onto the pallets.  Thanks to Alan Reynold's lifting tarp we are able to move the pumpkins without incident. The camera crew follows me to Half Moon Bay two days later to film the action there.

Athena Loaded on the Truck

Oct. 8
The day before the Half Moon Bay Weigh Off.  I load the pumpkin with a fork lift loaned to me by a local rental shop.  The manager is so jazzed by my pumpkin he loans me a fork lift if I wear a United Rentals hat at the weigh off.

Tony Helps with the Straps for the Trip to Half Moon Bay


The Paparazzi Move in as Athena hits the Scales

Oct. 9
Half Moon Bay Weigh Off ( pictures ) -This was really a lopsided battle - the hordes of gourds from the Great Pacific Northwest pitted against the few surviving California giants.  The pumpkin goddesses, Athena and Aphrodite, thirsted for blood-sport but most of California's best lay split and rotting in the fields of Napa, cut down before their prime by inclement weather.

Athena, the Goddess of War, looked glorious and invincible as she stared down the northern gourds from the back of my truck.  In the end, though, when she hit the scales, she proved to be a lightweight.  Measuring 350" ott (836 est.), she weighed in 7% light at 789 pounds and placed seventh overall.

Delicate Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty, proved even more ethereal than Athena.  She practically floated onto the scales.  Measuring 330" ott (710 est.), she weighed in 20% light at 567 pounds.

The final charge by the goddesses near the bay of the half moon turned into the charge of the light brigade. The waterlogged northern gourds took the day, led by  Mombert's orange low-rider (940#) and Holland's white leaden boat anchor (891#).

Never have there been more beautiful and glorious pumpkins to grace the shores of Half Moon Bay than the pumpkin goddesses.  Majestic in defeat they carried their shoulders high and orange as I trucked them away from the bloodied fields of battle.

Athena On the Tarmac at Borchard Farms


Athena 3rd Biggest Pumpkin Grown in California, 2000

Oct. 15
I bring Athena and the whole family to the First Annual Borchard Farms weigh off.  This weigh off is for California growers only.  Athena takes third place weighing in at 786.  She lost three pounds over the week since the Half Moon Bay weigh off.  The Borchard Farms weigh off is a wonderful family affair with plenty of activities for the kids and Tom Borchard is the perfect host.

The Goddesses Party with Sally Ann
One Ton of Pumpkin

Oct. 30
The goddesses and yours truly hit the small screen on KPIX, Channel 5, Evening Magazine the night before Halloween.  Marla Tellez, the producer, does a wonderful job portaying me as somewhat normal. (if any pumpkin grower can be categorized as such).  The show lasts four minutes.  I figure I have 11 minutes of fame left.

Amanda's First Grade Class Parties in the Patch

Can you find Amanda?

The Goddesses do Halloween

Oct. 31
Halloween brings families from all over the area to take pictures of their kids with the Goddesses.  The Goddesses bless everyone that sees them with a little bit of pumpkin magic - You can see it shining in their eyes as they smile in wonder and gasp in awe.

The End!

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