Smashing fun at Rock Ranch on National Pumpkin Destruction Day

Last year, the farm obliterated more than 6,000 gourds
Pumpkin Destruction Day
Illustration by Peter Arkle

In 2007, Adam Pugh, director of oper­ations at the 1,500-acre Rock Ranch, created Pumpkin Destruction Day as a fun way to recycle extra pumpkins on the farm. Last year they obliterated more than 6,000 gourds, and this year they’re aiming higher, with 15 methods of annihilation.

The Aerial Bomb
In a pasture near the ranch, watch as planes soar hundreds of feet overhead, raining pumpkin torpedoes on top of an old school bus parked below.

The Crusher
Ranch workers pile hundreds of pumpkins atop a row of rusted-out old cars before a monster truck crushes them beneath its enormous wheels. Want to take a ride? Pony up $6.

The Blaster
Yep, they built a pumpkin-shooting cannon out of an old Nissan truck and a repurposed propane tank. Aim for one of the school buses 400 yards away and watch it splatter.

The Swing and Release
At the end of a hay bale–lined “lane” sit real bowling pins. Take your pick from a stack of small pumpkins for the perfect strike.

The Drop of Doom
Climb into a boom lift with a pumpkin in tow. Once the platform reaches 40 feet, let ’er rip. Cue explosion.

On the calendar: Turn Halloween leftovers into compost carnage at the Rock Ranch on National Pumpkin Destruction Day, November 7.

Update 11/5: Due to rain, The Rock Ranch’s Pumpkin Destruction Day has been rescheduled to November 14.

This article originally appeared in our November 2015 issue under the headline “Smashing Pumpkins.”