Klaistow, Brandenburg, Germany (Gastrosofie). Medusa lurks just behind the building: oversized, and pretty colourful. Pit Ruge created the creepy legendary figure out of loads of pumpkins. The artist from Berlin and his colleagues have painstakingly attached them to a wooden frame – with rabbit wire. This is how Gandalf, the wizard of Middle-earth, with his huge beard came about. A few meters away the firebird spreads its wings meters-wide.
It is said to be the largest pumpkin exhibition in Berlin-Brandenburg, which takes place this year at the “asparagus and adventure farm” in Klaistow. “Pumpkin, fables, fantasies” is the motto of the exhibition, which costs two euros entrance. „30,000 pumpkins were used for the figures alone,“ says managing director Antje Winkelmann. Until November 1st, everything on the farm will revolve around the popular seasonal vegetables.
A visit is also worthwhile to taste the delicious specialties from the farm restaurant. The classic, the pumpkin soup, was refined with ginger, pumpkin seed oil and crispy pumpkin seeds. The fried gnocchi with a mild pumpkin filling, enriched with a pumpkin sauce, cherry tomatoes, garden herbs, rocket and parmesan are also very successful. Also recommended is the acorn pumpkin filled with minced meat with mashed potatoes and a pumpkin cream sauce. The portions are plentiful, there is hardly any space left for a dessert. Like for example the pumpkin and cream cheese tiramisu with pistachios. If that is too powerful for you, you can switch to the homemade ice cream. If the “pumpkin” variety is still in the making, blueberry ice cream will do the same. Extremely fruity and not very sweet, even the best ice cream parlours can hardly keep up to it. And as an aperitif, gold-coloured “Pumpkin Prosecco” is a splendid invitation. Yes, a lot can be conjured up from pumpkin nowadays. In the GDR, this delicacy was only pickled. Sweet and sour, as Antje Winkelmann remembers.
Events such as Halloween or the weighing championship offer entertainment. Giant pumpkins then trump with their pounds, and breeding is more about weight than taste. There have been strict rules for the weighing spectacle since 2013. The stem should not be longer than 2.5 centimetres and the pumpkin must be cleaned and placed on the scales, according to the “Great Pumpkin Commonwealth” (GPC). A referee monitors compliance with the GPC rules. This is the only way to get the results on the globally valid ranking list, which is of great interest to the committed community of the pumpkin breeders scene. The Swiss Beni Meier left all opponents far behind in 2014 with his pumpkin weighing almost a ton. The record among breeders from Berlin and Brandenburg dates back to 2017 and is 767 kilos – achieved by Alexander Lütjens, who was one of the youngest participants in the competition. See who beats it this year!
The company offers 30 types of pumpkins. The various decorative and edible pumpkins from its own cultivation are available at the pumpkin market in front of the farm. In addition to classics such as Hokkaido or Butternut, there are also less well-known examples. For example the green “Acorn” with its fine hazelnut aroma, the delicate “Baby Boo” with its thin white skin, the “Bishop’s Cap”, which is politically incorrectly called “Turkish Turban”, or even the “UFO” “, Which Erich von Däniken could hardly have resisted. The “red wart”, which also lives up to its name, is a clear case for dermatologists.
Where ever you look, a sea of pumpkins. A small ocean was even reproduced for the pumpkin exhibition, made of many bright specimens with a small rowing boat in the middle. Actually not intended to be entered. Still, many toddlers make themselves comfortable there while parents play with their cell phones. The colourful show is ideal for selfie and Instagram junkies. And if you can’t get enough of it, a season ticket is sure to help out – for only five euros. Bet you’ll come more than once this season!
Spargel- und Erlebnishof Klaistow
Address: Glindower Straße 28, 14547 Beelitz
Contact: Telephone: 03320661070
Christopher Prescott based on a text by Fritz Hermann Köser.