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Pumpkin tips the scales at 990 pounds

Posted: November 19, 2018

Pumpkin tips the scales at 990 pounds

It started four years ago with a bet amongst buddies with the winner collecting a bottle of their favourite beverage from all the competitors and has grown now to a tale about a 990 pound pumpkin in Chris Wiggins' yard.
Wiggins, 32, said he and 13 friends decided they'd compete to see who could grow the largest pumpkin.  It was 2015, and of the 14, only five managed to get anything decent to grow.
Wiggins and a couple others have kept it up, and this year he grew two massive pumpkins, one weighing in at 720 pounds and the other, a behemoth tipping the scales at 990 pounds.
"That's the biggest one I've ever grown and as far as I know the largest that's ever been grown in East St. Paul," Wiggins said.
He's learned a few things over the years, like good seeds grow better pumpkins and if you're serious about growing big ones, you need to have space.
He only planted two this year, but it required some garden maintenance.
"They definitely take up a solid third of my garden.  I actually cut back the number of cucumbers I had this year as a result, and zucchini and squash."
Wiggins is carrying on the family tradition in a sense, as his great-grandfather and his grandparents were market gardeners.  He lives in the house his grandfather built and said the garden is 90 years old.
He took his largest pumpkin to Roland this year for the annual pumpkin competition, but he said by those standards, his was small.
"You needed a 1,200-pounder to win there," he said.
He's not sure what his 990-pound pumpkin's fate will be - he might carve it up, but he'll definitely take the seeds for next year.
And, it'll likely sit in his garden over the winter so he can admire it.

Picture:  Wiggins and Mayor Shelley Hart take a seat on the pumpkin during Halloween at the Plaza.


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