Saturday, October 22, 2011

World's Largest Pumpkin

Does size matter?

From the New York Daily News:

A puffed-up pumpkin weighing nearly a ton rolled into town Thursday after squashing the competition to be named the largest in the world.

The gigantic gourd will be carved Saturday at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

"I never thought I could grow a big one," said the supersized squash's still-surprised grower, Jim Bryson of Quebec, Canada. "I never dreamt I had a chance at setting a world record."

The 1818-pound pumpkin sits on bales of hay surrounded by three rotund runners-up, two from California, and one from Pennsylvania.

"These are the top four in the world," said Dave Stelts, a John Deere tractor salesman from Edinburg, Pa., who grew the second-largest pumpkin, an 1807-pound behemoth with a greenish hue.

"This is the pinnacle - the big pumpkins in the Big Apple."

...Bryson, who began growing pumpkins on a whim four years ago, happily revealed his winning technique.

In April he soaked pumpkin seeds from his maple farm in a wet towel and within 30 hours they sprouted. He grew the seedlings in one-gallon pots under grow lights for 10 days.

Next he moved the plants to a heated greenhouse. After the weather warmed, he took down the greenhouse walls and let the vines spread through his surrounding garden.

On June 21 Bryson and his 12-year-old daughter Kelsey pollinated pumpkin flowers by hand.

...Early this summer Bryson and Kelsey lopped off all but one flower so the vine would concentrate its energies on growing a single squash.

At the peak of growing season, the pumpkin packed on 40 pounds a day.

"You'd come back at night and you can see the difference," Bryson said. "It's amazing."

Growers can sell a single seed from a record-shattering pumpkin for over $1,500.

$1,500 for a single pumpkin seed?


Think of how many seeds these giant pumpkins have.

Probably more seeds than there are buyers.

Here's video of the four largest pumpkins in the world:

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