Jackson township, Ohio, USA, Christy Harp, a local High School math teacher, has grown a 1,725 pounds pumpkin-which sets the new world record for the Largest pumpkin. Christy Harp and her husband, Nick, have been growing giant pumpkins for the past eight years.
For Christy, growing gargantuan gourds has become a personal challenge since the eighth grade, and is now a bit of a hobby at the family farm. This year, she and her husband decided to have a little contest. “Last year he beat me by 200 pounds. This year I beat him by 400 pounds. Very good year! My pumpkin, my side of the patch! We separate the patch and never step foot on the other side!” Christy says at one point in August, the pumpkin was growing 33 pounds a day.
Her secret to growing such a large pumpkin? “Pulling all the weeds and being out in the patch lots of hours,” she said, noting that the boulder-sized pumpkin grew at about 33 pounds a day. “We filled up the soil with lots of compost, coffee grounds, cow manure, and then we pick out seeds with good genetics.”
The previous world record for the Largest Pumpkin was a 1,689 pounds set in Rhode Island in 2007 by Joe Jutras. For her efforts, Christy Harp won the $2,500 cash prize for first place and bragging rights for the next year. Hers was the heaviest pumpkin weighed at the annual Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers weigh-off at Parks Garden Center on state Route 62 in Green Township. “We’ve always felt that the big pumpkin for any one of us is a victory for all of us,” said Tim Parks, owner of the garden center and a director of the OVGPG.
When it was all over, Harp and her husband, Nick, were hoisted onto the shoulders of some of the men she’d dethroned, and they all celebrated her victory. Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers director and secretary/treasurer Alan Gibson said some of the seeds from the winning pumpkins will be available for the club’s seed auction, which is planned for 8 p.m. Nov. 28 and 29 on the club.
He explained that one seed can go for as high as $30. Proven seeds, such as seeds responsible for world record-holding pumpkins can go anywhere from $200 to $500 per seed on the Internet. If that records holds after the Circleville, Ohio Pumpkin Festival, her pumpkin will go on to New York City and be carved by a master carver on Times Square.