Central Illinois cucurbit farmer emerging as expert nationwide
Condill speaks about pumpkins, squash and gourds and builds displays
from coast to coast, including the White House lawn
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[September 28, 2013]
ARTHUR -- Mac Condill, one of
the owners of The Great Pumpkin Patch in rural Arthur, has been
making a name for himself throughout America for his knowledge and
design skills as they pertain to cucurbits, which include pumpkins,
squash and gourds. Condill and his family grow over 300 varieties of
pumpkins, squash and gourds on their family farm south of Arthur
every year and are open to the public Sept. 15-Oct. 31, when they
welcome thousands of visitors.
He was one of the main speakers at the National Heirloom Expo in
Santa Rosa, Calif., in September as well as at the Country Living
Fair in Columbus, Ohio.
"I'm humbled that so many people want to
hear me talk about something I enjoy so much. Educating people about
the growing process, seed preservation and the various uses for
cucurbits -- I have a passion for that," Condill said.
Condill's future speaking engagements include the Country Living
Fair in Atlanta, Ga., on Oct. 25-27 and the New England Vegetable &
Fruit Conference Dec. 17-19.
Condill was a recurring guest on "The Martha Stewart Show,"
appearing three times over a six-year period.
Condill is also well known for building stunning cucurbit
displays, including the one for the North Lawn of the White House in
"One of the great things about cucurbits is their versatility,"
said Condill. "Their visual diversity makes them great elements for
Annually Condill's decorating commitments include the Chicago
Botanical Gardens, the Museum of Science & Industry, the Country
Living Fairs in Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta, Ga., as well as many
smaller displays found around the central Illinois area.
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After developing an interest in cucurbit farming at an early age
from his parents, Condill began his formal education with Practical
Gardening Training in Scotland. He received his bachelor's degree in
agribusiness and horticulture from Illinois State University and
interned at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and Kirstenbosch
Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa.
In addition to his speaking and decorating commitments, Condill
is the general manager of The Great Pumpkin Patch and the owner and
operator of The Homestead Seeds, a cucurbit seed business whose
mission is to grow, sell and share the stories of rare and unusual
cucurbit varieties while supplying seeds to everyday vegetable
Taking the process full circle from seed to consumable products,
Mac and his wife, Ginny, also own and operate The Homestead Bakery
on grounds of The Great Pumpkin Patch, providing made-from-scratch
baked goods to the surrounding communities and at farmers markets
[Text from file received from
The Great Pumpkin Patch]