You're Never Bored with a Gourd!

30 October 2011

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It's strange how traditions start. In the late 1960s Ralph Upton, a farmer from the small, picturesque English village of Slindon in the county of West Sussex place his yearly crop of pumpkins, squashes and gourds on his shed to ripen.  

The colors and shapes of his harvest soon attracted visitors - and things have never been quite the same in Slindon since.

The next year he did it again, but began to arrange the fruit in patterns.  As the years went by his son Robin joined in the fun and the displays became bigger and more complex.  So big that a few years ago the original shed collapsed under the weight. The displays are now created using a scaffolded structure.

Of course when you commit to doing this sort of thing on an annual basis then expectations grow. This year is no disappointment - the main display has a length of 20 feet and a width of 12.  There are about 600 fruit making up this year’s collage, representing around a hundred varieties of pumpkins, squashes and gourds. It is a pastoral scene- a wheelbarrow contains harvested fruit under a typically grey English sky. Yet the sun is still shining!

The display’s life span is very dependent on the weather. It will normally stay up until the middle of November but it is the elements which will decide the duration of the display.  Yet when this finally succumbs to the weather there is always next year to look forward to – after all, you're never bored with a gourd! Just to prove it, here are the dinosaurs from 2007 and the sunflowers from 2009.

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