NAPA (CBS) – For a few glorious weeks in October pumpkins become a big deal – and for some, the bigger the better.
CBS News correspondent John Blackstone report some particularly determined growers are cultivating giants in a place better known for its grapes than its gourds: the Napa Valley, California’s wine country.READ MORE: Storm Fronts March Through Bay Area; Massive Tree Topples In San Francisco Neighborhood
The same drive for excellence that has made the vineyards of the Napa Valley world famous is now being applied to something bigger—much bigger, and not red or white, but orange.
”It’s the small grapes and the big pumpkins,” said Lee Hudson. Hudson makes fine Chardonnay, but he’s hooked on the happiness that comes from enormous pumpkins. “It’s contagious,” he said. “There’s nothing more fascinating than seeing a vegetable that’s growing 30 pounds a day.”READ MORE: Outrage Grows Over Racist Comments Targeting KPIX 5 Reporter Betty Yu
So Hudson turned a corner of his vineyard into a pumpkin patch. With Leonardo Urena, his head gardener, Hudson set his sights on bringing big pumpkin glory to Napa.
At least a dozen Napa growers are now toiling to make the valley famous for pumpkins. Vern Blaziek nurtures the scaled-up squash beside his vines. “I’m not the only goofy one in town,” he said.
Napa was hopeful when Urena hauled a 1,400 pounder to the weigh-off in Half Moon Bay this week. But first place went to a 1,500 pounder from California’s sunnier Central Valley.
But don’t expect Napa’s pumpkin growers to whine. Next year they aim to squash the competition.MORE NEWS: Suspect Arrested On DUI Charges In Fatal Fairfield Hit-And-Run
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