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Langridge sisters growing another season of award winning giants


Shannon and Sarah Langridge await the “Great Pumpkins” still growing in their field in preparation for competition at the Wellington Pumpkinfest and Royal Winter Fair. These merely large pumpkins, and a range of smaller ones, join gourds, hay bales and corn stalks as spectacular autumn decorating ideas for sale at their Sandy Hook Road family farm.

Sarah and Shannon choosing which giant pumpkins will be entered into the Picton Fair 4H Competition Friday.

The Langridge family dooryard on Sandy Hook Road has transformed into a giant pumpkin patch but the actual  giants are still in the field – growing bigger and bigger with each passing day.
Sisters Sarah and Shannon are launching another season of seeing how their efforts will fare in this year’s giant vegetable growing competitions.
Thursday afternoon, the two met to confer with their dad about which giants would be loaded up for competition at the Prince Edward 4H giant vegetable weigh off, Friday at 6 p.m. at the Picton Fair.
Sarah, a second year Queen’s University student, and Shannon, a Grade 12 student at PECI,  have amassed an enormous collection of ribbons and awards for their growing prowess over the past five years. They grow almost all of the giants – including pumpkins, cabbage, tomatoes, gourds and watermelon, and this year have added rutabaga – a new category. They are also frequent winners of tall corn and sunflower categories.
This summer’s intense heat, they report, is good for some crops and bad for others.
“The heat is good to grow tall corn, but not so much for the sunflowers,” Shannon explains. “Sunflowers like the shady and overcast days because they will grow to reach for the sun. This summer they didn’t have to reach so much.”

Shannon and Sarah examine this year’s entries for the tall corn and sunflower categories.

Sarah adds that heat is usually good for giant vegetables but they need to be well covered and well watered.
Last year’s highlights included multiple awards at the Picton Fair in September; a Langridge pumpkin weighing in at 782.80 at October’s Wellington Pumpkinfest and in November’s Royal Winter Fair, they captured first place with a 60.2 pound watermelon and first place with a 105.2 pound pear gourd.
What will this year bring? The growing continues and the weighing has just begun.

Picton Fair Schedule Friday, Sept. 7:
8:30 am – Gates open – Buildings & Exhibits open at noon
1 pm – Tim Hortons Baby Show in the Community Centre Hall with Entertainer, Andy Forgie. (Open to County Residents only)
4 pm – Children’s Midway opens
4 pm – Full Midway opens, live entertainment in the Crystal Palace and other locations
5 pm – Live entertainment on stage in the Crystal Palace-Drew Ackerman and Little Bluff
6 pm – Tractor Pull in front of Grandstand
6 pm – Pr. Ed. 4-H Large Pumpkin Weigh – off in the Community Centre
7 pm – Dairy Cattle Show in Cattle Show Pavilion
8 pm – Dance to the music of the “Reasons” in the Community Centre Hall. Full bar.
10 pm – Buildings close

Click here for more fair schedules and information.

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