PHOTO: South Langley’s Scott Carley leaned up against one of two pumpkins he took to Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery for the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. (Troy Landreville/Langley Advanc
My gourd, there were some humongous pumpkins at Krause Berry Farms & Winery Estate on Saturday.
Two of the biggest of the bunch at the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off belonged to local boy Scott Carley.
Carley’s winning pumpkin was 186 inches in circumference and weighed 1,411 pounds.
His other pumpkin weighed 1,200 pounds and 173 inches in circumference.
Carley is coming off a Sept. 26 win at the Skagit Giant Pumpkin Festival in Mount Vernon, Wash., where, competing with the big growers in Washington State, he took the top prize with a 100-day-old whopper that tipped the scales at 1,427.5 pounds.
He planted his winning entry April 20 and pollinated it June 20.
And while he works for a local environmental engineering firm, Carley knows a little bit about farming, and growing pumpkins.
He grows his gourds in a 10,000 square foot area on a portion of his five-acre property in South Langley.
“It’s just a hobby,” Carley said. “I’ve got a bit of a farming background so I just kinda wanted to get into pumpkins.”
While Carley is a relative newbie when it comes to growing pumpkins, a hobby he took up three years ago, he’s been growing canola and wheat in Manitoba for the past two decades.
He oversees the annual seeding at the more than 1,000 acre farm owned by his mom and dad, Marg and Jack, near Russell, in southwest Manitoba.
Closer to home, the pumpkin season was okay, but not great, Carley said, explaining, “the daytime temperatures were so high, and the nighttime temperatures were unusually cool, and 95 per cent of the pumpkin grows at nighttime, and with the cool nighttime temperatures, they haven’t really been doing all that well.”
Carley said a shift in temperature in mid-Agust affected the pumpkins.
“It got really cold, cloudy, rainy, so it’s too bad,” Carley said.
During Saturday’s weigh-off, which is the only certified and recognized event in B.C., the pumpkins were lifted by hooks and carried over by forklift to be weighed.
Carley isn’t done, just yet.
“I have two pumpkins left that I am taking down to a big competition in the United States on Oct. 10,” he said. “I’m hoping I will beat the record for Western Canada.”
A pumpkin weighing 1,536 pounds is the current record.
Carley will also be taking his squash next weekend and hopes to set a new B.C. record which is currently held by Langley’s Kate Mumford set last year at 722 pounds.