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CHARLOTTE, NC – There’s a contest for everything, and pumpkins are no exception. You might be rightly proud of this massive pumpkin in your plot, but unless it’s over 2,500 pounds, you’re not flirting with any type of record. It could be a record in Charlotte, however.
It’s a fun challenge to consider when you and your family embark on a fall rite and visit the pumpkin patches around Charlotte. Where’s the biggest pumpkin you’ve seen?
You can even make it a diversion from the coronavirus pandemic with a class trip. Teach them a bit more about pi – not pumpkin pie, but the mathematical formula for calculating the circumference of a circle – or how to convert pounds to kilograms.
Here’s where to start:
Greatest Life Pumpkin Patch
Address: 17025 Lancaster HWY, Charlotte
Hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday: from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday: from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
8th Annual Huntersville Fall Festival
Address: Historic Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville
Attractions: Pumpkin patch, inflatables, make your own scarecrow, arts and crafts tables, face painting, children’s games,
Hours: Saturday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Davidson United Methodist Church
Address: 233 South Main Street, Davidson, (704) 892-8277
Hours: all day event, from October 1 to October 31.
Carrigan Farms, LLC
Address: 1261 Oak Ridge Farm Road, Mooresville, (704) 664-1450.
Attractions: “Come pick your own pumpkin, right next to the vineyard! The Carrigan Farms pumpkin plots are open all October with daily shuttles to and from the site.” Reservations required
Hours: Monday to Friday: 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: every 20 minutes between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Address: 3060 Millbridge Road, China Grove, North Carolina, (704) 857-5242
Attractions: Fall farm weekends include a bee-themed corn maze, barnyard tours, pumpkin patch, and more. Tickets can be purchased here.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
READ MORE: Best Pumpkin Patches in the Charlotte Area 2020
The biggest pumpkin ever recorded in the United States was grown by Steve Geddes. The pumpkin that the man from Boscawen, New Hampshire grew in 2018 tipped the scales at 2,528 pounds to win the top prize at the Deerfield Fair. The impressively-sized pumpkin weighed 165 pounds more than the former US record holder.
Neither came close to world record holder Mathia Willemijn, whose 2016 record still stands for the 2,624.6-pound pumpkin that won this year’s European weigh-in in Germany, according to Guinness World Records, which describes the gourd as “the size of a car.”
Whether the pumpkins are in the range of 2,500 or 2,600 pounds, that’s a lot of pumpkin.
Ask the children this: What is in nature that weighs so much?
A hippo living in the wild can weigh around 5,800 pounds, but some of the smaller hippos weigh about the same as Geddes’ pumpkin.
The largest and heaviest bovine species is the Asian gaur. Bulls can weigh up to 2,500 pounds, but cows weigh much less. Another fun fact that separates these cattle from many other species: Both male and female gaurs have horns.
Both the world and US record pumpkins are larger than the Australian saltwater crocodile, the largest species of crocodile in the world. They can weigh over 2,200 pounds.
And here’s another fun fact from Bengtson’s, a Chicago-area pumpkin patch, and maybe a spring farming lesson: Vine health matters.
“If you’re trying to grow a huge pumpkin, you must realize that the entire vine works for the same purpose,” the site says. “All the water and sunlight received by the leaves and roots is devoted to the single pumpkin.”
Making sure the pumpkin has room to grow is another key. Growers should pull out any roots that may be close to the pumpkin, being careful not to pull the stem off.
Once the pumpkin grows to the size of a softball, remove all other pumpkins from the vine so that all of the plant’s energy is directed toward creating an award-winning pumpkin.