October 4, 2013
"Basically, compressed air is my forté," said Ray Tolson.
Tolson built the Second Amendment Too, a cannon powered with compressed air, to throw pumpkins.
People at the Layz S Ranch in Fluvanna got to see the Second Amendment Too in action on Friday evening.
The Culpeper-based cannon won the Punkin' Chunkin' World Championship in 2011 by traveling 4,329.37 feet, more than eight-tenths of a mile.
Kids and adults could fire it and learn about farming, welding, and teamwork and the sport.
"Basically, we're here to share the fun and enthusiasm and try to get some of the youths interested in the sport of punkin' chunkin'," said Tolson. "So that the youth and all would get some interest in agriculture and interest in doing the different skills -- welding and working together, teamsmanship. You know, it's a whole lot to the sport."
Tolson said it took him about three years to build the cannon. He started building it in about 2001.
"You learn as you go," Tolson said and laughed.
"It hit the ground for a second and then it goes 'kablooey!'" said Malcolm Powell. Powell watched Second Ammendment Too fire pumpkins, along with his Boy Scout troop, and fired a pumpkin himself.
The ranch also had hayrides, pony rides, face painting, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, and more.
All the activities make for "lots of fun on the farm for kids to learn about agriculture." said Greg Sclater, Layz S Ranch owner. "They don't get enough of it in school. It's where food comes from."
"We just absolutely love the farm life and showing people where their food comes from," said Heather Saylor, who works at Layz S Ranch. Saylor was there Friday with her two daughters. Both watched the Second Ammendment Too hurl pumpkins and participated in some of the other activities.
"We went on a hayride around some horses and some cows and it was really fun," said Ashlyn Saylor.
The punkin' chunkin' continues Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
You can visit the ranch's website here.