It's October, which means that millions of Americans will head to the closest pumpkin patch to select a gourd that they will then attempt to carve into a scary monster. While some artistic ones will succeed, most will end up with a cheerful jack o'-lantern. That, is probably why a Southern California farmer came up with the brilliant idea of growing pumpkins that naturally resemble Frankenstein.
"Pumpkinsteins", are the brainchild of Fillmore-based Tony Dighera. The contractor turned farmer says he was inspired to create uniquely shaped fruits about four years ago, after reading about the square, albeit inedible watermelons that are grown in Japan.
It was not easy! Dighera who designed the entire process from scratch, estimates he spent between $350,000 to $400,000 USD to perfect the process, which began with finding the right seeds. For the pumpkins, he experimented with 27 different varieties. Then he had to seek out right kind of plastic for the mold - one that would allow the fruit to thrive, once it was placed inside.
After that came the challenge of figuring out the perfect size. If the two-sided plastic molds were too big, the fruit would not take the correct shape. If they were too small, they would distort the pumpkin. The final challenge was to place the fruit in the mold at the right time, so that it would not turn during the growing process and snap off from its stem.
It took the artistic farmer a number of pumpkin cycles to get it right. But the fruits as you can see, are stunning and not surprisingly, in heavy demand. The farmer said that most of his first crop of 5,000 gourds has already been presold for prices ranging from $75 USD to $125 USD. And the orders are not just from consumers in the USA, but all over the world!
In addition to perfecting the Frankenstein pumpkin, the farmer has also been working on heart-shaped edible watermelons, which he plans to brings to market next Valentine's Day. Even more exciting are the white pumpkin skulls that will debut on Halloween 2015!
While Dighera is very secretive about his technique, he says he may consider licensing it or selling molds to other farmers in the future. Meanwhile, he is busy experimenting with his next fruity venture - embedding company logos inside fruits!
Resources: cnbc.com, mercurynews.com, odditycentral.com