Move over Dr. Frankenstein, “pumpkinstein” is taking over this Halloween. Unlike Mary Shelley’s monstrous fictional creation, the pumpkins that bear his face are real and available to add to your Halloween decor this year. According to the New York Times, they were created by the mind of California farmer, Tony Dighera who, like Shelley, wanted to bring a new creature to life. So he decided to try growing Jack-o-lantern pumpkins in a plastic mold shaped like the face of Frankenstein.
“People never believe it’s real the first time they see it; they all want to touch it to make sure,” Dighera told the New York Times. “The point was to make something that would get attention.” As evidenced by the New York Times article about his creations, it clearly worked. Sales aren’t slow either. Dighera grew about 5,500 of the franken-pumpkins this year on his 40-acre organic farm just north of Los Angeles, and at a wholesale price of $75 each, his whole crop is already spoken for – with retailers expecting to sell them for at least $100 each over the next few weeks before Halloween.
Dighera got his great idea after he saw a website featuring square watermelons from Japan, and he has been experimenting with growing watermelons in various shapes of plastic molds since 2010 with varying degrees of success. He finally was able to grow his own cubic and heart-shaped watermelons which he has been selling for $40 each over the past year. He was even able to grow the fruits with logos imprinted on them and sold branded watermelons to major retailers like Whole Foods.
In trying to create “pumpkenstein,” Dighera went through 27 different varieties of pumpkins and about $400,000 to get things right. “I started playing around and realized pretty quickly this wasn’t going to be a quick thing,” he told the New York Times. “But I also realized that if I could really figure it out, I would have something special.”
Via New York Times
Images via Cinagro Farms