Are these Langley’s biggest pumpkins?

On a quiet farm near Campell Valley Regional Park, orange giants are visible nestled among the spreading vines.

They’re some of the largest pumpkins in Langley, and their grower hopes they’re among the biggest in the Lower Mainland.

Scott Carley grew his first giant pumpkin 10 years ago, when the family was living in Delta. He raised one to over 600 pounds in his back yard.

Last year he planted one more, with his family now moved out to South Langley. 

When he heard about the local Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Aldor Acres, he took the biggest of his big orange squash and tied for second place, weighing in at 853 pounds.

“It started off as something fun for him,” said Kirsten, Scott’s wife, who has helped out with the care and feeding of the giant pumpkins.

This year, with Kirsten was expecting their daughter, and Carley skipped his annual trip to the family’s Manitoba farm where he oversees the annual seeding.

To keep himself busy around the property, he threw himself into growing several pumpkin patches full of pumpkins weighing hundreds of pounds.

Scott estimates his two best pumpkins weigh in at about 1,100 pounds and 1,200 pounds. 

The larger of the two is over five feet wide, and neither of them will fit into a truck. He’ll have to move them using a trailer.

On Saturday, he’ll find out exactly how big they are at this year’s Weigh Off. 

The pumpkins are Atlantic giants, a breed known for its huge size.

But Scott hasn’t left anything up to chance. 

Kirsten noted that when he had to head east to work on the farm, he left her a series of instructional videos on how to care for the pumpkins.

“They are his babies,” Kirsten said. “I didn’t realize how much went into it until he went away.”

There are strands of drip tape under the pumpkin beds to deliver water and nutrients. The pumpkins themselves rest on beds of sand or on styrofoam to keep them from rotting from damp.

Nearby are several pup tents, thrown over the pumpkins during hot sun to save their skins.

The pumpkins can gain dozens of pounds a day during their fastest growing season, notes Scott. The big danger is that they’ll grow too fast and split. He lost several to that already.

Some of them he probably lost because he was experimenting and pushing to see how big he could grow one of the giants.

As far as Scott is concerned, he’s already been successful. 

“My goal was to grow something over a thousand [pounds],” he said.

Some of the ones he’s already lost to splitting, and some of his current crop, definitely surpassed that mark. Scott guesses he’s hit 1,000 pounds four times already.

Once the contest is over, one of the biggest pumpkins will wind up as the most impressive jack o’lantern on the block.

It’ll be hard to cut, Scott said. 

“A full saw barely makes it through,” he said.

The work should be worth it for the reactions from kids. Last year they carved up their second-prize winner and put it out by the driveway, and heard many kids who doubted it was even real.

Just Posted

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

South Langley centre offers seniors an array of activities

Members decide which courses and activities are offered at the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read