For some, pumpkin season conjures up visions of Halloween jack-o'-lanterns; for others, lattes are all they have on their minds. But for professional giant pumpkin growers, it’s competition season.
Last month, we saw Illinois’s Gene McMuller set a world record for North America’s largest pumpkin, winning the Cedarburg Wine & Harvest Festival in Wisconsin with a 2,145.5-pound orange gourd. He only held the record for a few weeks. On October 10, at the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh Off, Ron Wallace reclaimed a title he’s held before with a pumpkin weighing in at 2,230 pounds—the second largest pumpkin ever measured in the world.
It’s no shame handing your title over to Wallace; he’s a legend among those who grow giant fruits and vegetables—a hobby that about 30,000 people enjoy, according to Andy Wolf, president of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. In some ways, Wallace deserves credit for the largest pumpkin ever grown too—that 2,323-pound mammoth grown in Switzerland was bred in part from one of his seeds.