Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence on WXXI-TV

Tue, 07/13/2010 - 9:00pm
Pictured: Competitor Deb Sundstrom with her oversized pumpkin.

Credit: Randy Sundstrom

The hard work and heartbreak of competitive pumpkin growing.

The extreme gardeners who compete at the annual Cooperstown Pumpkin Fest weigh-off have one obsessive goal â€” to raise the biggest giant pumpkin in the world. Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence encores Tuesday, July 13 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011). These gurus of the gourd nurture their fruits through harsh weather, floods, animal attacks and even sabotage to produce glorious pumpkins of gigantic proportion. This program follows Joe Pukos and his fellow competitors through the final harrowing days of harvest and the journey across New York State with the bulging behemoths strapped into the beds of their pick-ups. Pukos is a contender â€” at least until last-minute rumors circulate that another grower may be set to smash the world record.

Mark Lewis’ THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE, a series of four one-hour films, celebrates the ambition, determination and passion of those who pursue distinction in slightly unconventional fields. Each film showcases the training and preparation required to be competitive and reveals the surprising, and sometimes heartbreaking, results of that dedication.

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