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Chiang Mai’s Giant Pumpkin: Maejo University Alumni Cultivate Thailand’s Record-Breaking 380kg Marvel

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In the lush, verdant valleys of Chiang Mai, a marvel of horticultural prowess has emerged, casting shadows far and wide – a pumpkin, no less, that tips the scales at an eye-watering 380 kilograms. This is not just any pumpkin; this is Thailand’s heavyweight champion, nurtured to gargantuan proportions by the illustrious alumni of Maejo University. Imagine, if you will, a pumpkin so vast it could serve as a carriage for Cinderella and her entire entourage!

The stage for this extraordinary display of agricultural achievement is the Panawat Dhammakaya Meditation Centre, nestled in the picturesque Hot district of Chiang Mai. Here, amidst the serene backdrop of the centre, the pumpkin takes pride of place, drawing admirers from near and far. The centre is not merely a haven of tranquility but is currently alive with the buzz of an agricultural fair, running until Sunday, with the giant pumpkin exhibition as its crown jewel.

Wednesday brought a surge of excitement as Assoc Prof Weerapon Thongma, the acting president of Maejo University, graced the opening ceremony with his presence. With a flourish, the exhibition was declared open, a beacon of innovation and agricultural prowess shining brightly in northern Thailand. Assoc Prof Weerapon, in his address, didn’t just applaud the magnificent pumpkin; he also extended a helping hand, providing the alumni and the brains behind this verdant venture with funds to further their careers and agricultural endeavors.

The gathering was a who’s who of Maejo’s finest, with Acting Vice President Pawin Manochai and an assembly of the university’s dignitaries in attendance, their eyes alight with pride as they surveyed the fruits of their efforts. The pumpkin, it transpires, is not only a testament to the alumni’s dedication but also a symbol of international cooperation and scientific curiosity. Introduced to the soils of Thailand from the United States in 2020 by these very alumni, the pumpkin species underwent rigorous trials and tribulations in the name of academic research and agricultural innovation.

The result? A record-breaking behemoth of a pumpkin that has cast Maejo University into the limelight. The meticulous cultivation, a blend of scientific ingenuity and sheer determination, has reaped dividends, allowing this foreign species to not just take root but flourish in Thai soil.

Until the 7th of April, the Panawat Garden transforms into a realm where fairy tales and agricultural science collide. Visitors are invited to marvel at this colossal pumpkin, a beacon of human ingenuity and perseverance. Who would have thought that a pumpkin could captivate the imagination, inspire awe, and even redefine the boundaries of what’s possible in agriculture? The alumni of Maejo University, with their giant pumpkin, have done just that, writing themselves into the annals of horticultural history in the process.

So, if you find yourself wandering through the verdant landscapes of Chiang Mai, make your way to the Panawat Dhammakaya Meditation Centre. There, amidst the tranquility, you’ll find a celebration of agriculture, innovation, and dreams grown impossibly large – all embodied by a pumpkin that has to be seen to be believed. It’s a sight that promises to enchant, amaze, and perhaps even inspire a new generation of dreamers to think bigger, aim higher, and grow their own giant pumpkins.

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