Monday, September 30, 2013

Behind each great pumpkin, is a great pumpkin grower.

The journey to the scale with a giant pumpkin is the final step in a long journey from seed to scale. In the last few days, the growers were filled with worry and a bit of relief with each step they passed. The concern with loading a giant this big into a truck and taking it on a long (for some of our growers, very long) ride to the weigh off. The relief that the pumpkin made it into the truck, and made it to the weigh off. Another sigh of relief when it has made it off the truck and finally onto the scale. The moment that the growers have been thinking about since this time last year, is finally here.
Sale is ready.

Squash weighed first.
The giant squash weighed first, and weighed in at 685.5 pounds (grown by Box). Squash can not have any orange on them, and the judges check each one to make sure they truly are squash before weighing.

Next up were the giant pumpkins.

I will not reveal the weight of our first pumpkin because his grower very generously plans to donate it to charity (who will do a guess the weight contest). 

If you have been following my blog, you may recognize this giant. The Maydan white pumpkin (named Whitey) weighed in at 480.5 pounds. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to photograph this pumpkin from seed to scale.

Sweet's giant weighed in at 554 even.

Sweet also brought this amazing one with him. After the judges checked this possible squash, it was declared a pumpkin because it has white stripes (squash must be yellow, green or blue).  Both pumpkins were weighed and his higher weight one was officially recorded.

Sweet's official weight (the one that would count out of the two) was 564 pounds.

Box brought both a giant squash and a giant pumpkin---seeing someone arrive with two giants is really cool. His giant pumpkin weighed in at 776.

It was great to see a female grower in a male dominated event. Adams brought her pumpkin (named Snowflake) to the scale, and this giant weighed in at 794.5. 

 Spencer's pumpkin was a beautiful orange, and weighed in at 896 pounds.

Voglor's pumpkin was the first to break the 900 pound mark, weighing in at 938 pounds!

Our emcee, Paul Piorek, was awesome. He interviewed all the growers and kept the crowd excited to see a first pumpkin break the 1,000 pound mark.

The Giarusso pumpkin was one of my favorites. This pumpkin was grown on an island! The growers had to take the ferry with this giant to come to the weigh off, and since the ferry is on winter hours, they had to make the trip over to the mainland the night prior to the weigh off. I can only imagine what other ferry riders thought when they saw a truck with this giant boarding the ferry!

Giarusso's giant weighed in at 968.5 pounds! 

Lombardi's giant weighed in at 974 pounds. 

Another member of the Adams family grew his first pumpkin this year, and it weighed in at 981 pounds! This pumpkin traveled all the way from Syracuse to join us!

Rapunzel was the final pumpkin to come to the scale. We were so hopeful that a pumpkin would weigh in at over 1,000 pounds. Rapunzel did not disappoint.

Official scale reading...

Congratulations to Nick Huydic on growing the winner - a 1,290.5 pound giant pumpkin! Nick's pumpkin was grown in Connecticut and it was exciting to see a Connecticut pumpkin win Ridgefield's First Weigh Off.

These pumpkins will return home, and the seeds will be harvested from inside. Some seeds will be auctioned off (to read more about a seed auction, check out my blog post It all starts with a seed). The seeds are named based on the pumpkin they came from. So the seeds from Nick's winning pumpkin will be called the Huydic 1290.5 so growers will know they came from this giant.

Our emcee with the results.


  1. Those are amazing!!! I always wondered how they grew them so big without them rotting. Thanks for the pics, these are awesome!

    1. thank you. to answer your question of how they grow them so big without rotting---a lot of care (and some still rot). these growers spend a lot of time in their pumpkin patch checking the vines, the pumpkin, everything.

  2. can't believe pumpkins actually get that big. WOW

    1. Bonnie, it's hard to believe they can grow this big. It's really cool to see them arrive in the back of pick up trucks (and they only able to fit 1 in a pick up truck!)

  3. I've never seen anything like this before (outside of children's books) and living in the state that produced the winner makes me proud (and hungry-oh the pies I could make!)! Very very cool- sharing on Twitter and Fbook! :)

    1. Chelle, it is really cool that the winner was a CT grown pumpkin. thank you for sharing!

  4. What a great series of photos - the pumpkins kept getting bigger and bigger. I was impressed with those pumpkins under 500 pounds. Now really - 500 pounds? And then, Rapunzel arrives - over 1200 pounds - what a great pumpkin!

    1. thank you! the 500 pound pumpkins were big in person, and then the gigantic ones showed up. they were so huge, it was crazy.