Talk of fertilizer mixes and soil composition could be heard as the participants in Aldor Acres' Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off waited to hear the latest numbers.
The Saturday event brought together some of B.C.'s most competitive gourd-growers, each hoping to have created a giant that can squash the competition.
The first six pumpkins were manhandled onto the industrial scale by three or four men.
The last four required farmer Albert Anderson's tractor and a forklift attachment. Weights increased from more than 100 pounds for the smallest pumpkins, to more than 700, 800 and 900 pounds.
In the end, it came down to a tiny difference between the largest two pumpkins.
"Seven is now my unlucky number," joked Glenn Dixon after his pumpkin came in second - by just seven pounds.
Winner Chad Gilmore of Pemberton brought a pumpkin that tipped the scales at a colossal 1,044 pounds. That's just five pounds off his personal best, a 1,049 pounder he grew in 2010.
Gilmore took home a $500 cheque, while second place got $250 and third $100.
Gilmore has been growing competitively for several years, and knows many of the other growers who took part in Saturday's event.
"It's a pretty small community. I hope it gets bigger," said Gilmore.
Gilmore admits that trying to get a pumpkin up to giant size means paying a lot of attention to it as it grows.
"You're in the patch every day," he said.
And although he doesn't name his giant pumpkins, he knows several who do.
He and his friendly competitors - Dixon presented Gilmore with the winner's plaque - typically share tips online through www. bigpumpkins.com. The site tracks the entire giant pumpkin hobby, including news of the new world record holder, a 2,009 pound pumpkin grown in the U.S.
A potato farmer, Gilmore plans to carve his award winner into a huge Jack O'Lantern for Halloween. Until a few years ago, his family would see just four or five kids a year trick or treating. Now, with their big pumpkins out front, about 50 stop by.
After Halloween, he'll smash up the pumpkin and feed it to his cattle.
This was the first time Aldor Acres has held a giant pumpkin weigh-off.
@ Copyright 2013