Way is here to a ton of joy for our hearts and minds and bodies, folks. It is that time of the year. Let's visualize giant pumpkins... Two-thousand pounds of feast for the eyes and the stomachs. And 1900 pumpkin pies!

Pumpkins are our joy

For every girl and boy

Those who carve them

Pies are not a toy!

I am not teaching you how to grow giant pumpkins.(1) Perhaps I would convince you to become a grower like Joe Sutras of Rhode Island. His pumpkin of 1689 pounds broke the world record in 2007.

My list shows you the top countries in this giant-pumpkin race. The barrier at 1100 pounds (500 kilograms) has been passed over by some eight countries.

United States 1689 (07)

Canada 1536 (08)

Findland 1435 (08)

Zimbabwe 1368 (97)

United Kingdom 1341 (08)

Netherlands 1256 (07)

Sweden 1192 (06)

Japan 1190 (06)

Last year's record was 187 pounds higher than the 2006 record. Given that 2008 holds a record for Canada but not for the world, I would mention the space seeds for the next year.(2)

China is not in my short list but one of their researchers insists, "Space seeds offer the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables bigger and faster," because China took a batch of 2,000 seeds into space in 2006 on the Shijian 8 satellite. "How sending seeds into space produces such enormous fruit is yet not fully understood, but it is thought cosmic radiation, micro-gravity, and magnetic fields may play a part." (No comment by me.)

Their giant fruit and vegetables have been sold to Japan, Thailand, and Singapore. Perhaps some pumpkin-belt growers in the U.S. would get interested in these seeds.

I will leave you alone with your visions of giant pumpkins with a question: Are their seeds giant, too??

(1) http://www.backyardgardener.com/secert.html

(2) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1949129/Giant-space-vegetables-an...