Put the perfect pumpkin seed in the hands of one of the nation’s top pumpkin growers and mix in some rich top soil and an ideal growing season and what do you get?
A world-record pumpkin, that's what..
Ron Wallace of Greene, R.I. established himself as the unofficial king of pumpkin growers last week when his prized gourd weighed in at a whopping 2,009 pounds at the Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, Mass.
The pumpkin not only shattered the previous record — set a day earlier at a fair in New Hampshire — by 165 1/2 pounds, it also became the first pumpkin to break the one-ton barrier.
Among those awed by Wallace’s gourd-growing skill is former world-record holder Chris Stevens, of New Richmond, Wis., who set the record two years ago at the Stillwater Harvest Fest. At that time, Stevens’ pumpkin weighed in at 1,810.5 pounds.
“From somebody who’s been in the world record holder’s seat, it’s ridiculous to think we just broke a ton,” said Stevens, who was texting Wallace, who he has known for several years, during the world-record weigh in. “I think he had everything right this year. He had the perfect weather. He had a great seed. He had perfect soil and he may be the best grower on the planet.”
Stevens plans to test his pumpkin-growing skills again this month at the Stillwater Harvest Fest Oct. 13-14. But given the extremely hot and dry Midwest summer, he's not optimistic about challenging Wallace’s winner.
“We’re not going to have anything close to a ton,” he said. “Unfortunately for us this year, we didn’t get the weather.”