|Wednesday What's New: Pumpkins, Gourds, and Squash Galore|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 19 October 2011|
Now this is what I call a bountiful harvest: 5,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash arranged in an artful display at the University of Tennessee Education and Research Center in Jackson, TN. There’s even a cornstalk horse and a pumpkin house (see original article for picture). The creation of research horticulturist Jason Reeves, hundreds of people visit the display each fall.
Reeves grows everything at the 600-acre facility and who spends three days building it. Reeves, who grew up on a farm considers himself part artist and part horticulturist. As a research horticulturist he spends many hours researching which varieties to grow and caring for his crops. He also collects data, measuring yields, and noting any disease and pest problems in order to determine the best varieties for consumers.
As an artist Reeves is “hands on”, arranging and rearranging the pumpkins, gourds, and squash in groups of 25 until he creates the look he wants. He has plenty of experience with displays having hones his skills at places like Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and the Opryland Conservatories in Nashville. Growers like the display because it gives them fresh ideas for their own displays. The county extension services use the information Reeves has collected to help farmers and other growers.
Photo source: A research horticulturist's fertile mind generates a beautiful harvest