The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

October 1, 2012

Martha Stewart Living features area pumpkins

HUNTSVILLE — Ilyana Mansfield has brought loads of attention to the pumpkin growing community. Her pumpkins were recently featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine for its special Halloween edition.

Mansfield, an Illinois native, said that after moving to Texas, pumpkin growing was a little more difficult in such extreme weather. Clearly, the hard work has paid off.

Martha Stewart Living magazine wanted to do a spread on pumpkins, but could not find any ripe ones so early in the growing season.

“Originally they were going to try to get some from South America, because they could not find any in the U.S.” Mansfield said. “After seeing an ad for someone needing pumpkins for the magazine, I called them and that same day they asked if they could have the pumpkins shipped to them to start taking photos of them for the spread.” 

Mansfield and her parents had the pumpkins shipped out that day to the magazine.

She was also asked to conduct a radio interview for the new Martha Stewart radio channel which does shows about the process of making the magazine.

“It was neat,” she said. “I’m so glad I could help them out, and I’ve always liked their Halloween issues, so I’m really glad I could help them out with this one.”

In thanks, the magazine sent Mansfield a care package filled with fake skulls, Halloween merchandise, craft items and costume pieces.

Mansfield’s eight-acre garden is located off Highway 19 and she spends much of her time tending to the pumpkins and ensuring that they grow to their full potential.

The pumpkins are grown completely organically to ensure they are healthy and safe to eat. On many occasions, Mansfield said she has gone outside to kill insects herself to keep the pumpkins healthy.

“I didn’t want to spray the pumpkins with any kind of poison, so I only sprayed them with soap and pepper.” Mansfield says. “What really helped was the toads, tarantulas and even some snakes. They will eat the bugs, but not the pumpkins.”

Mansfield has spent years cross breeding different varieties of pumpkins for ones that will do well in the Texas heat, are good for carving and have a great taste.

“I have been growing all different kinds for a long time and trying to find the kind that do well in droughts.” Mansfield says. “When I do find the right kind, I try to grow them and even give away the seeds to other growers so they can grow pumpkins.”

Collecting record-setting pumpkin seeds is a hobby for Mansfield, who hopes to one day break a record herself.

Other fruit and vegetable growers from around the world have sent Mansfield the seeds from 50-pound cantaloupes and 200-pound watermelons to try to grow for next year.

Mansfield will be giving away seeds from her pumpkins that do well after the season. For more information, contact her at wizeheart@gmail.com or look for her upcoming blog at PumpkinMoonBeam.Blogspot.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Man in custody for injury to child

    A 2-month-old baby is fighting for her life after being flown to a Houston hospital Wednesday and police have taken her father into custody.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18 EZ Pawn.jpg Local business, sheriff’s office donate Easter baskets

    Youngsters are anxiously awaiting a visit from the Easter Bunny this weekend and sadly there are some kids who might not be expecting to receive any goodies.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 Able.jpg NBC to air professional shooting contest at Able range

    From Texas’ earliest settlers who used firearms for hunting and protection to friends just shooting for sport, one question has remained — who’s the best shot?

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • City cleans up Capital Improvements Plan during workshop

    Huntsville City Council are doing some spring cleaning on their capital projects to-do list.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18 Philomena.jpg Philomena’ a gripping, sincere story

    Movies that are based on a true story have a unique set of potential pitfalls that other films simply don’t, particularly when those films deal not with a massive, universally known event (World War II, for example), but with an intimate human story.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man executed for triple murder

    A Nueces County man was put to death Wednesday evening for the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, her young son and her mother less than an hour after the U.S. Supreme denied his final appeal.

    April 16, 2014

  • CJ.jpg SHSU intern helps protect Colorado River

    One of Carly Tipton’s first experiences working in her criminal justice internship involved evicting a squatter and his goats from a Texas island.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SHSU to celebrate Founders Day

    Sam Houston State University will celebrate 135 years of academic success, while paying homage to its beginnings, through the inaugural Founders Day celebration on April 26.

    April 16, 2014

  • HISD approves pay raise for teachers

    The HISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new compensation plan that will raise the starting teacher salary from $36,000 to $39,000 during a board meeting on Tuesday night.

    April 16, 2014

  • Robbery suspect back in jail

    A Huntsville man who is accused of taking part in a pair of home invasion robberies last year is back in the Walker County Jail after missing a court date.

    April 16, 2014

Photos


House Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide