Pumpkins to take pride of place

Forbes North Public School students Alyssa Gooden and Maggie Henley waded through the school pumpkin patch to locate one of their best white Atlantic pumpkins.The District Exhibits at Sydney Royal Easter Show are famous for their over-size pumpkins.

This year will be no different except for one very important factor – three of the over-sized pumpkins were proudly grown by students at Forbes North Primary School.

The three Atlanta pumpkins were collected last week by the Manager of the Western District Exhibit Les Clarke and Western District Exhibit committee member Tom Dwyer, along with three Jam Melons from the school’s vegetable garden.

Mr Dwyer said the school was invited to grow the pumpkins specially for the Sydney Royal Easter Show at the end of last year as a way of getting young students involved with shows.

“Our students have done well to produce such excellent pumpkins against such adverse conditions,” Principal of Forbes North Primary School Phil Thurston said.

“It’s just like growing any other vegetable. You have got to keep the soil nutrients up and water them appropriately.”

Mr Thurston said although the pumpkins do receive some water via a watering system, the students have all taken turns in tending to the patch.

“It’s been a crazy season in terms of rain so we haven’t had to water so much,” Mr Thurston said.

Mr Dwyer said the biggest pumpkin to ever be displayed as part of the district exhibits was on show last year and weighed a whopping 396 kilograms.

Although the school’s pumpkins and melons will weigh in a lot less than last year’s record beater, they are impressive nonetheless.

Mr Dwyer commended the students on their efforts, particularly with this year’s high humidity and tumultuous weather conditions.

“They are good for the year because there has been that much disease around,” Mr Dwyer said.

The pumpkins were transported to Sydney last week.

Mr Clark and Mr Dwyer were to join the produce and the rest of the district exhibit team at the end of last week.

The Sydney Royal Easter Show will run from April 5 to April 18, 2012.

Pumpkins are also being grown for the exhibit by students at Red Bend Catholic College. They will be collected this week.

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