The annual Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Grower’s Annual Weigh-off at Frerich’s Farm in Warren on Saturday may be highlighted by a world record giant pumpkin from the same grower who just set the weekend at the Topsfield Fair one week ago.
The inside track is that Ron Wallace, of Greene, RI, is saving what he believes the granddaddy of all giant pumpkins for the Frerich’s Farm weigh-off. Based on the pumpkin’s measurements it has a very good chance of weighing more than the 2009 pound pumpkin he weighed at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts. That was the first one ton pumpkin ever recorded, and it broke the world record that had been established just days earlier.
This season has been just about perfect for giant pumpkin growers in the Northeastern United States. Charlie Lopresti, Chief Meteorologist at WGME, moonlights as a giant pumpkin grower at his home in Portland, ME. This year, Charlie grew a 1332 lb pumpkin that was tops at the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest Weighoff, and the biggest pumpkin in Maine. He took home the top prize of $2500 for all of his efforts, and they are many, in growing the giant pumpkin. Charlie had this to say about the growing conditions in New England this year.
The growing season was a good one in New England for giant pumpkin growers. Pumpkins grow well in consistent warm temperatures, and to be more specific, warm overnight temperatures. We of course had that this past summer. Giant’s don’t like heavy rain followed by extreme heat. That weather set-up sometimes results in the fruit splitting. For growers who could irrigate, this was one of the best summers in recent memory. Another important weather story this summer was the lack of severe thunderstorms. Strong winds can devastate a pumpkin patch. Unlike last year, my leaves were standing tall until the end.
The Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Grower’s Annual Weigh-off at Frerich’s Farm draws thousands every year, and this year will be held on a spectacular day with some sunshine and highs in the 70s.