Every so often I like to spice up my blog a little bit and share an interesting story with my readers. Most of my friends and family know what I have been up to this summer, but I have yet to enlighten the blogging world. These past few months, I have set out on a mission to grow a GIANT pumpkin. It all started in 1998 when my dad grew a 294lb giant and won first place at the Morton Pumpkin Festival. 294lbs is heavy for a pumpkin, but the world record stands at 1,810.5lbs!!!  This is where my story begins.

I may not be breaking the world record this summer, but I am certainly setting out to grow my first GIANT pumpkin! Before I arrive at my reasoning for writing this post, I want to share what growing a giant pumpkin entails. At this point, I believe I could come close to writing a book on the art of growing giant pumpkins, but I will keep my idea in a nutshell. In April of this year, I ordered my giant pumpkin seed online from P&P Seed Company. Because my funds were limited, I purchased one seed and put all my faith into that little guy! I first planted my seed inside and created ideal conditions for pumpkin germination. On May 15th, I transplanted Hublee (the name of my pumpkin plant) into the ground. Since that day, Hublee has emerged into a massive plant almost consuming all of his 30×30 foot square. It is amazing to watch how a seed, the size of a quarter, grows into an enormous green giant. I will also add that Hublee’s seed came from a 994lb pumpkin!

As Hublee continued to grow, small baby pumpkins started to appear on his vines. The key to growing a giant pumpkin is to choose one baby pumpkin and cut all the others off.  This way, all of the plant’s nutrients go into this one fruit. On July 5th, I chose the pumpkin I wanted to keep and began cutting the others off. As of last night, Judy (the name for my pumpkin) is the size of a beach ball. She has nearly tripled in size this past week! My goal is to enter Judy in the Morton Pumpkin Festival Weigh Off on September 13th. Some people ask me why I chose to grow a giant pumpkin this summer while trying to balance school, work, and life all at once. For one, I am fascinated at how one small seed can turn into a 1,000+ pound fruit. At the same time, I have taken another view on growing giant pumpkins.

In life, I often see and hear stories of how people waste their time with video games, the internet, television, and other consuming activities. Through my pumpkin story, I want to encourage you to seek out one of your passions or hobbies that can add value to other people. At first, I was growing this pumpkin for myself, in hopes of beating my dad’s record :). As I began sharing my story with others, in a way, I created a small community of people. Every week, I send out pictures to family and friends of Judy’s growing progress. Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to take a new person down to see Hublee and Judy. Whether I am out at work or in school, I attempt to bring up my GIANT pumpkin story and always manage to get a chuckle out of people. After the pumpkin festival, my ultimate goal is to donate Judy to a ST Jude family so they can carve her out for Halloween. From this story, I want to encourage readers to be creative with their passions. Your ideas could range from growing GIANT pumpkins to building a pumpkin catapult! (ask Tyler about that!) In the end, seek out something you enjoy and find a way to share that joy with others.

“This is one small step for pumpkins and one giant leap for pumpkin-kind.” – Anonymous

One more thing, if you would like to see Judy and Hublee for yourself, do not hesitate to ask!