An enormous pumpkin nicknamed “Mama” grown in a Richmond, B.C., backyard has won first place in one of North America’s most prestigious pumpkin weigh-offs, tipping the scales at more than a tonne.
Grower Dave Chan, 78, says “a lot of good science” went into his victory on Saturday in the National Pumpkin Weigh Off in Wheatland, Calif., where Mama weighed in at 1,003 kilograms, or 2,212 pounds.
The retired dentist says he and his wife Janet Love analyzed soil samples throughout summer to ensure the pumpkin was receiving the right nutrients.
They loaded Mama and another giant pumpkin onto a trailer and drove more than 1,300 kilometres to attend the weigh-in, which organizers say has been held since 1921.
Chan, who’s been growing giant pumpkins for more than 40 years, won $28,000 – that’s US$9 per pound – as well as a flashy championship belt, worthy of a heavyweight champion.
He says he and his wife will use the money for a trip to Italy, where they plan to meet the grower of the world’s heaviest pumpkin, which weighed in at 1,226 kilograms in 2021.
Chan says they’ll continue their U.S. road trip with “Mama” and her smaller trailer mate, which weighs about 725 kilograms, and will take part in another competition this month at Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.