Kicker: Champion pumpkins

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Gotta pumpkin patch? Well, you could win $15,000 in the annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off. W-e-i-g-h. We’re trying to quantify how big these things are.

So how heavy a squash do you think we’re talking here? 

500 pounds? 


Twice that? A thousand pounds?! 

Nope! Double that again! World champion pumpkins usually top 2,000 pounds! A whole ton.

Cindy Tobeck was a grand champion pumpkin grower in 2016. She told KTVU that growing monster pumpkins is not easy.

TOBECK: I’m building greenhouses. I’m putting soil heating cables in the ground, ambient light for the pumpkins in the greenhouses.

She said while it’s hard work it is—in her avid gardener’s words—“crazy fun” to watch them grow.

TOBECK: It’s amazing. In August, they can grow 40 or 50 pounds a day! That’s like two pounds an hour! I can’t think of anything else that does something like that.

This year’s winner trucked in a pumpkin weighing 2,175 pounds.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Ben Margot) Leonardo Urena of Napa, Calif., reacts after learning his pumpkin weighed in at 2,175 lbs., a new California weight record on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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