HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — Giant-pumpkin farmer Joel Holland, a retired firefighter from Sumner, Washington, was crowned the Pumpkin King at the 44th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off for hauling in a 2,363-pound mega-gourd, organizers announced.
His pumpkin was also declared the heaviest pumpkin recorded in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area competition.
Holland has been entering the contest for years, and this was his seventh time in the winner’s circle. He also runs “Holland’s Land of Giants,” a business that helps people grow gigantic gourds the size of a compact car.
“It starts with good seed and lots of sunshine and water,” Holland told reporters as he posed with his magnificent pumpkin.
In fact, Holland’s pumpkin was so huge, he had to rent special gear just to hoist it into the trailer for the 12-hour trip to downtown Half Moon Bay, which is south of San Francisco.
At the contest on Monday, a forklift hauled the great pumpkin onto a scale and a crowd watched as it displayed a whopping 2,363 pounds, according to the Orange County Register.
At $7 per pound, Holland’s prize-winning pumpkin earned him more than $16,500.
Cindy Tobeck won the competition last year with a pumpkin weighing 1,910 pounds. Tobeck rode on top of her entry this year as it was taken to the scale, but her huge pumpkin barely topped 2,000 pounds.
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