Summerland grower sets sights on world record after growing monster pumpkin | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Summerland grower sets sights on world record after growing monster pumpkin

Summerland grower Bill Boerboom's 744 pound pumpkin is going to make a lot of pie.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Apple Barn Facebook page
October 18, 2019 - 2:30 PM

Bill Boerboom is pumped after his first attempt at growing a monster pumpkin.

The owner of Summerland’s Apple Barn and the Windmill Garden Centre has his giant gourd, weighing in at 744 pounds, on display at the Apple Barn after harvesting it following a heavy frost last week.

“It stopped growing after that, and there was a potential for rot to begin if I left it on the vine,” Boerboom says.

He figures the pumpkin could have gained another 200 pounds if not for the frost on Oct. 8.

“It was gaining about 20 pounds a day, it’s crazy when you watch it grow,” he says.

Growing has been a passion for Boerboom all his life. He’s excited about what he’s been able to achieve this year, and wants to grow a gourd double the size of this year’s behemoth next year.

“I’ve been growing stuff all my life, and always wanted to grow a large pumpkin. It’s amazing to see the energy one plant can provide, it’s insane,” he says.

Boerboom grew the gourd close to his home, where he could more easily tend to it. He prepped the soil last fall and over the growing season provided the plant with lots of manure, water, and milk.

“It’s an old wives tale, feeding a pumpkin milk, but I tried it,” he says.

Boerboom says he grew the pumpkin an an area roughly 70 x 8 feet.

“It needs a big area to grow. The leaves alone are the circumference of a beach ball,” he says.

Boerboom hasn’t researched local records for largest pumpkin, but says the world record is 2,400 pounds, which he hopes to challenge in a few years.

“I’ve talked to local gardeners who have been around here longer than me, and they’ve never seen anything like this,” he says.

The pumpkin has become a tourist attraction, completely covering the pallet it sits on in front of the Apple Barn at 9100 Jones Flat Road. Kids sit on it to get their photos taken and it's a focal point for customers.

Boerboom wants to encourage families to try growing a big pumpkin. He plans to give interested kids seed from the gourd if they turn out to be ripe.

“I love challenges. This has been really rewarding, an addictive adventure for me.  I think the world record holder is going to have company in a few years,” he says.


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