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Punkin' Chunkin'

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This landscaper found a hobby that has helped attract more clients to his landscaping business.

Lindsey Getz | October 18, 2011

While it might be considered an act of vandalism to chuck a pumpkin off your neighbor’s porch, it’s wholeheartedly encouraged at the WCPCA – that is, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association. This nonprofit association has been encouraging chunkin’ pumpkins since 1986 and has been picked up as a special show on the Science Channel garnering even more attention for the annual sport of pumpkin hurling.

Participants use mechanical devices which have included slingshots, catapults, centrifugals, trebuchets and pneumatic air cannons to hurl a pumpkin as far as they can. When Brian Labrie, president of Hollis, N.H.-based B.H. Labrie Landscaping, first saw it on TV, he had to check it out for himself.

“For as serious as we are in business and as much work as we put into our jobs, it has been nice to have a little bit of fun and levity by getting involved in this,” says Labrie, who took fourth place last year, his first time competing. “I had some background in metal fabrication and decided it was something I wanted to try.”

As someone who deals with agriculture every day, Labrie thinks that pumpkin hurling is an appropriate tie-in with his work. But it’s also helped business by giving him a bit of local fame. “It’s definitely added credibility to a name that already has credibility,” he says. “And people recognize me from the show which I’ll admit has lead to some good jobs. I’m not sure I can say it’s paid for itself as this has been an expensive hobby, but it’s also something I really enjoy doing and has been rewarding in that way.”

One of the things that Labrie has also found rewarding has been the competition. “I’m a landscaper by training but about 99 percent of the people participating are engineers,” he says. “It’s cool to have blue collar against white collar. But in all honesty, it’s been one of the most fun groups of people to work with and a great experience.”

 

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