The Strange Allure of Largeness

By Jesse Eastman, Owner & General Manager

AllureOfLarge_NLWith our Giant Pumpkin Contest only days away, this seems an appropriate time to talk about size. Of course, there are plenty of jokes about size, and why it does or doesn’t matter, but the fact is, humans seem obsessed with things that are big. Like really big. Things that shouldn’t exist in that size. But there they are, the country’s biggest rubber band ball, the world’s tallest building, the largest pizza ever made – these all have a way of capturing our attention in a way nothing called “normal” ever can.

I’m sure there’s a psychologist reading this who could explain the reasons we love things that are abnormally large, some deeply seeded need to connect with something bigger than ourselves, but I don’t much care for that. After all, I make my living growing and selling plants – what do I know about the human psyche? No, to me, it is much simpler than the complexities of the mind and the human condition. To me, it is simply an escape into the world of fantasy where I spent so much time as a kid.

The world of oversized produce is familiar to anyone who enjoys fairy gardens. It is a strikingly similar landscape, seen through a fun-house mirror of sorts. With fairy gardens, you create a magical world where fairies and gnomes may roam. You are the architect of that entire microscopic universe, and it is empowering and exciting. However, when you encounter a softball-sized tomato or a 1200 lb. pumpkin, you are no longer on the outside looking in. You have stepped through the looking glass and entered the world of fantasy as a participant rather than an observer.

I grew up in Waldorf schools, where the idea of living in a mushroom cap was just as reasonable as riding a bicycle, and some of my favorite literary friends rode massive eagles to visit their grandparents. When I was young, my dad used to take me and my sister to the arboretum at CSU where we would race around madly, chasing the elves and sprites that only we could see hiding beneath the drooping limbs of the shrubs and trees.

At some point in my life, that imaginary world lost its appeal, or at least, I lost my intimate connection to it. For me, that is a big part of why big fruit is fun. It’s an opportunity to lose myself in a world of magic that a reasonable adult would say is impossible. A zucchini as long as my leg? Not likely. A pumpkin that weighs nearly as much as a VW Bug? Only in your dreams. And yet, come Sunday, if you join us for our Giant Pumpkin Contest, you just might get to witness, nay, experience a ridiculously joyous encounter with hugeness in a manner usually reserved for a child’s imagination. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Originally published on October 1st, 2015.