How A Greenhouse Is Helping This Hobby Farmer Achieve Larger Than Life Goals
Growing up in Las Vegas, one of Chad New’s fondest memories was going to the Bellagio Hotel during the fall to look at the giant pumpkins that decorated the casino. That’s why, when the former union electrician decided it was time for a career shift and a move away from the city, he decided to pursue his interest in the giant gourds.
Six years later, he’s setting up his own greenhouse in Parker, Colorado in pursuit of growing his biggest pumpkin yet.
Though mountainous Colorado is neither the most obvious nor easiest place to get involved in the world of giant crops, Chad sees his environment as just another challenge he’s more than willing to tackle.
We caught up with Chad to discuss his strategy for achieving his giant pumpkin goals, his future plans for his hobby farm, and his burgeoning YouTube channel that’s growing in more ways than one.
Overcoming Giant Obstacles
As Chad began to lay the groundwork for his 80’ x 40’ giant pumpkin patch (appropriately dubbed Colorado Giants), he knew what challenges faced him down the road.
With 6 years to familiarize himself with the pumpkin-growing experience in the Centennial State, he was aware of which pesky variables he’d need to control and maintain to get the best yield possible—that yield being a 2,000 lb pumpkin.
Those variables include 6100 feet of elevation, the shift from 100 degree days to 60 degree nights, frequent and sudden hailstorms, and a desert-like lack of humidity.
“All of those factors make it challenging because you have to have just the right combination of each one to have a truly giant pumpkin,” said Chad. "With the Rimol greenhouse, I do believe I'll be able to control enough of the variables to grow a pumpkin that's an impressive size."
Bringing A Piece of New England To the Rocky Mountain Region
As a means of combating these factors, Chad decided to invest in a greenhouse for his pumpkin patch.
After seeing Rimol mentioned by other hobby farmers on social media, he ultimately sought out a Rimol 34’ x 72’ Nor’Easter Greenhouse as his best option for several reasons:
Storm protection. As its name suggests, the Nor’Easter was built for withstanding severe conditions, originally inspired by the storms that hit the East Coast. With a wind bracing kit and a double layer of clear polyethylene film, Chad’s Nor’Easter will be able to stand tall in the face of strong winds and hailstorms.
Temperature control. By utilizing a poly covering, Chad can limit the amount of sunlight his pumpkin patch receives—an ability that comes in especially handy during those 100 degree days in Colorado. The indoor setting also gives him the option of locking in any necessary heat that might be lost as the sun sets.
Humidity control. When the temperature or humidity levels need to be taken down a notch, exhaust fans and shutters, all controlled by thermostats, will provide necessary ventilation to make that possible. Chad also outfitted his Nor’Easter with a wet wall to boost humidity levels when the environment gets too dry.
Insect protection. By keeping his pumpkin patch indoors, Chad decreases the risk of insect infestations that would potentially prohibit his pumpkins from reaching giant size. This also saves him the time, effort, and funds that he would’ve needed to alleviate the risk of insects in an outdoor patch—and as a family man and hobby farmer with a day job to attend to, those resources are better allocated elsewhere with the help of the greenhouse.
As Seen On YouTube
If you’re wondering how Chad’s first pumpkin season with his very own greenhouse is going, you’re in luck. Tune into his YouTube channel and Chad himself will take you on the journey along with him step by step.
His objective with his videos is partially to journal his actions, and partially to share knowledge that others might benefit from. He enjoys being part of the online hobby farming community and is always happy to lend a helping hand. “All anyone has to do is ask and most of us are happy to help,” he says of the farming community.
On his channel, you’ll see that his experience has so far been a positive one. “I’ve been extremely pleased with it,” he says of the Nor’Easter set-up process. “If you are handy in any way shape or form, you can tackle the vast majority of the greenhouse set-up with a couple of helpers. Some instructions and a little common sense can go a long way.”
An Eye On The Prize
Having taken increased measures to create an environment best suited for giant pumpkin growing, Chad has an eye on beating state records one day—and perhaps even world records—despite the challenges posed by his location.
“The goal directly related to the greenhouse is to put a concerted effort towards growing a 2000+ lb. giant pumpkin at an elevation of 6100 feet,” he said. “If a 2000 lb. pumpkin was grown at over a mile high elevation, basically a high desert, that would be a pretty darn large accomplishment in more ways than one."
Subscribe to his YouTube channel to see what the future holds for Chad New & Colorado Giants!