Sunday, October 12, 2008

Get Ready to Fire Up the Trebuchet

We have some punkin chunkin to do! If you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, then maybe you should plan a visit to the Yankee Farmer on Route 31 in Greenfield, NH. We learned about the farm on a whim this morning and decided to take a short drive out there this afternoon to watch some pumpkin throwing.

We drove about 10 miles down a pleasant but deserted country road before coming upon the Yankee Farmer -- a nice New England farm stand with a twist. Farmer Steve Seigars and his family operate a trebuchet, the oldest type of catapult known to man. They use this impressive machine (more than 50-feet high) to launch pumpkins into a hillside. But there's more...this is a worldwide competitive sport and the Seigars currently hold the world championship record throw of 1,658 feet!

This was all new to me, but apparently not new to the rest of the world. There were about 150 to 200 people milling around the hillside waiting to see an 8 to 10-pound pumpkin sail through the air. What a fun way to spend time outdoors on a beautiful fall day! Not to mention there are lots of great pumpkins, apple cider, home-baked bread, an ox-driven cart (and more!) at the Yankee Farmer.
The pumpkins fly each Saturday and Sunday afternoon between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. until October 25th. Check out the Yankee Farmer website for directions and more details. We saw an orange pumpkin hurl through the air today, but I learned that competitive "chunkers" (that's what they call themselves) generally use white pumpkins, but not just any old garden variety white pumpkin. The Lumina is much-preferred for its smooth skin, spherical shape and density. Who knew? For me, punkin chunkin is one more reason to love New Hampshire!


Pam said...

Thank you so much for this post. After our family hiked the trails around Willard Pond in Hancock yesterday we drove over to watch the trebuchet in action. Very impressive.

Lucie said...

Glad to hear that you and your family enjoyed the trebuchet. I actually have more photos showing the catapult; just haven't had time to upload them.

If you have any interest in writing a short post about your hike around Willard Pond and your trip to the Punkin' Chuckin', I'd be glad to put it on the blog. Just let me know...