Ginormous pumpkin a record-breaker

Scott Wilson with his 426.4-kilogram record-breaker at the 17th annual Bushmere Arms Giant Pumpkin Competition yesterday. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
Sylvie Ladd looking at a sculpted pumpkin entry. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
Carter , Ruby and Harrison Easterbrook at the Bushmere Arms Giant Pumpkin Festival. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
IT’S ALL IN THE WAY YOU HOLD YOUR TONGUE: Mason Rennie rolls a pumpkin towards the target circles — one of the fun activities that proved popular at the Giant Pumpkin Competition at the Bushmere Arms yesterday. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
CREATIVE ART: Carter, Ruby and Harrison Easterbrook in front of a “Sun-kin” — a pumpkin version of the Sun. Right, Indigo Shine and her unicorn friend sit on the winner of the heaviest pumpkin, a 426.4-kilogram giant grown by Scott Wilson and daughter Amelia. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

Scott Wilson accepted first prize but stressed it was daughter Amelia who deserved most of the credit for growing the heaviest entry in this year’s Bushmere Arms Giant Pumpkin Competition.

Weighing in yesterday at a record 426.4 kilograms, the winning whopper was more than 108kg heavier than last year’s champion (317.6kg), grown by Fletcher Ware.

“We sowed four seeds and of those, two grew,” said Mr Wilson.

“My daughter Amelia diligently removed all the smaller competing pumpkins in the patch and titillated the champion with lots of care.”

It was their third attempt at growing pumpkins for the competition and Amelia, who is at Otago University, was disappointed she couldn’t be there on the day.

Mr Wilson said the seeds were planted at Labour weekend last October and the secret to their success was “allowing plenty of space” and Amelia’s willingness to weed and tend to the plant.

“Clean dirt and a large area of about 10 square metres,” were key factors, he said.

“I got four seeds from Robin (Pierson, Bushmere Arms owner) and sowed them in the front yard.

“We had plenty of space as we’d cleared an old orchard from the site.”

“The good news is they’re not difficult to grow.”

There were fewer pumpkins entered in this year’s competition and Mr Wilson encouraged people to give it a go next year.

Organiser Georgina Kemp was thrilled with the 2019 event and on top of the Wilson record effort, she hoped they would break the fundraising record of $13,500 raised for the Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society last year.

This is the 17th year the Bushmere Arms has run the festival and Mr Pierson, who was busy yesterday feeding the crowd with seafood chowder and mini pizzas, said he was happy with the turnout despite it being a cold day.

Last year’s winner, Fletcher Ware, was runner-up to the Wilsons with a 342.2kg beauty.

Scott Wilson accepted first prize but stressed it was daughter Amelia who deserved most of the credit for growing the heaviest entry in this year’s Bushmere Arms Giant Pumpkin Competition.

Weighing in yesterday at a record 426.4 kilograms, the winning whopper was more than 108kg heavier than last year’s champion (317.6kg), grown by Fletcher Ware.

“We sowed four seeds and of those, two grew,” said Mr Wilson.

“My daughter Amelia diligently removed all the smaller competing pumpkins in the patch and titillated the champion with lots of care.”

It was their third attempt at growing pumpkins for the competition and Amelia, who is at Otago University, was disappointed she couldn’t be there on the day.

Mr Wilson said the seeds were planted at Labour weekend last October and the secret to their success was “allowing plenty of space” and Amelia’s willingness to weed and tend to the plant.

“Clean dirt and a large area of about 10 square metres,” were key factors, he said.

“I got four seeds from Robin (Pierson, Bushmere Arms owner) and sowed them in the front yard.

“We had plenty of space as we’d cleared an old orchard from the site.”

“The good news is they’re not difficult to grow.”

There were fewer pumpkins entered in this year’s competition and Mr Wilson encouraged people to give it a go next year.

Organiser Georgina Kemp was thrilled with the 2019 event and on top of the Wilson record effort, she hoped they would break the fundraising record of $13,500 raised for the Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society last year.

This is the 17th year the Bushmere Arms has run the festival and Mr Pierson, who was busy yesterday feeding the crowd with seafood chowder and mini pizzas, said he was happy with the turnout despite it being a cold day.

Last year’s winner, Fletcher Ware, was runner-up to the Wilsons with a 342.2kg beauty.

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