Great racing pumpkins: Nature or nurture?

CALS associate dean Irwin Goldman has denied that he has established a secret research plot, protected by guard llamas and a prickly hawthorne hedge, to develop his entry for the 2009 Giant Pumpkin Regatta on October 10.

“We have accomplished a great deal through the UW-Madison’s Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Program, but we have never had a line of research geared toward competitive sailing pumpkins,” Goldman insists. “We don’t select for buoyancy, low-friction skins, banana-shaped shells or the other traits associated with classic racing squash. We leave that up to nature and luck.”

Judge for yourself. The 2009 Giant Pumpkin Regatta begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Memorial Union lakefront. It’s sponsored by the Hoofers Sailing Club and the UW-Madison Horticulture Society.