I raised one of the pumpkins, mentioned in the Oct. 21 Viewpoint, that spoiled at the Maui Fair.
This is my story: I picked up eight seeds of giant Atlantic Pumpkin from the UH extension office and I planted them in my garden. Although warned about fruit flies, my intention was to grow them without the use of pesticides. But quickly, the bugs and insects were feasting on my young pumpkins, destroying them. It was not only the fruit flies that were troublesome, but ants, slugs, snails, mildew, wind and sun became issues.
I realized that if I wanted to have my pumpkins grow to maturity I needed to do something about it quickly. After a trip to the hardware store, with the help of its staff, pesticide recommendations and education as to the safe use of pesticides, I was able to successfully grow five pumpkins from eight seeds. The number of pumpkins would have been many times more if I had started using pesticides sooner.
Lesson learned. I now have enormous respect for commercial farmers and all the issues they must deal with. For those who say "No pesticides," I suggest they try walking in farmers' shoes for one planting season and see what it takes to produce a successful crop. We need farmers to grow affordable food in order to feed the ever growing population.
Farmers have my support and respect for their contribution to our survival.
Leona Rocha Wilson