PHOTO: Heidi Verheyden (left) and Shelley Hatfield cheered on their friend Kate Mumford (not pictured), during the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery this past Saturday. (Troy Landreville/Langley Advance)
“We just have a regular, quarter-acre lot,” pumpkin grower Kate Mumford said. “[The bed] is not very big, so anybody can grow these giant pumpkins.”
Mumford, and other growers of these massive members of the squash family, gathered for the annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery this past weekend. She went home the winner of the Howard Dill Award for the best looking pumpkin.
Mumford may not have brought the heaviest pumpkin to the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery – but is sure was pretty.
Mumford’s lush orange entry tipped the scales at 617 pounds, which was lighter than she anticipated.
Mumford is proud of her gargantuan gourd, and a pen-full of pigs in Chilliwack will more than likely be stoked to see it post-Halloween.
Mumford is in her third year growing giant pumpkins.
PHOTO: The Howard Dill Award for ‘Best Looking Pumpkin’ went to Brookswood resident’s Kate Mumford’s 617-pound entry. (Troy Landreville/Langley Advance)
This pumpkin is actually American.
It grew from one, free seed, mail-delivered from a friend in Ohio.
Mumford planted the pumpkin seed in mid-April, and it took nearly six months for it to grow beyond the 600-plus pound mark.
The pumpkin will be carved and put on display on the front lawn of Mumford’s house in Brookswood just before Halloween.
After that, it’ll become pig food.
“It will be cut up and taken to our friends’ pigs in Chilliwack,” Mumford said.
The pigs will be excited to sink their teeth into the fleshy pumpkin, Mumford predicted.
“They love the pumpkin,” she said, adding, “It’s too much to put in the compost. Circle of life, that whole thing.”
PHOTO: Kate Mumford, from Brookswood, was there as her pumpkin was transported via forklift to the scales. (Troy Landreville/Langley Advance)
Of all the pumpkins entered in the competition, Mumford’s was arguably the most colourful.
“It went a little bit lighter [than expected], but it’s still nice and orange and pretty, and there is actually a prize for the prettiest pumpkin,” Mumford said, before the final judging.
Her pumpkin did, in fact, win the Howard Dill Award for “Best Looking Pumpkin” and was sixth overall for weight.
The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) sanctioned the event.
Scott Carley won for heaviest pumpkin. His gourd tipped the scales at 1,172 pounds, nearly 100 pounds heavier than North Vancouver’s Andrea Dixon’s second place entry.
A total of four pumpkins exceeded the 1,000 pound mark.
Carley knows his pumpkins.
In 2013, he decided to get serious about growing giant pumpkins, with an 853 pound pumpkin that tied for second in B.C.’s Official Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) and Certified World Recognized Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Event.
Then, in 2014, Scott grew a few giants that weighed more than 1,000 pounds, and it was the 1,177 pound pumpkin that placed first in B.C.
Then, in 2015, his giant pumpkin (the first of his four largest ones) weighed in at 1,427.5 pounds and took top spot in B.C.
And, Carley’s green monster squash weighed in at 725.5 pounds and set the new B.C. squash record.
This year’s winning entry, at 1,172 pounds, was smaller than his goal to grow a 1,500-pound giant, and this was due to cooler weather conditions this year.
The list of results are:
• Andrea and Glenn Dixon: B.C.’s second place (1,077 lbs) and 4th place (1,029 lbs) giant pumpkins.
• Janet and David Chan: B.C.’s third place (1,036lbs) and 5th place (958 lbs) giant pumpkins.
• Kate Mumford: B.C.’s sixth place (617 lbs) and Howard Dill Award for Best Looking Pumpkin.
• Jeff Pelletier: B.C.’s seventh place giant pumpkin (410lbs) and first place giant green squash (457 lbs).
• Justin Hoskins: B.C.’s eighth place giant pumpkin (347 lbs).
• Eileen Pavan: B.C.’s ninth place giant pumpkin (145 lbs).
• Maurizio Camparmo: B.C.’s 10th place giant pumpkin (132 lbs).
The event was organized by GiantPumpkinsBC.com.
Next year’s event happens Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the host sponsor/venue Krause Berry Farms.
B.C.’s Official Great Pumpkin Commonwealth is a certified, world recognized giant pumpkin weigh-off event.
PHOTO: Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off emcee Jeff Pelletier brought his roughly 400-pound ‘Sasquash’ to Saturday’s event at Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery. (Troy Landreville/Langley Advance)