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Prince Edward County boy weighs Canada’s heaviest watermelon at Pumpkinfest

Carter Black with his watermelon that weighed in as Canada’s heaviest for 2017.

Pumpkins were well off the mark for world record weigh-ins, but a young Prince Edward County farmer has grown the heaviest watermelon Canada has seen this year.

In his first showing at Wellington Pumpkinfest, soon-to-be 11-year-old Carter Black, of Ameliasburgh, was proud of his 152-pound watermelon at the Pumpkinfest weigh-in Saturday in Wellington. His was three-times the weight of his competitors.

Black, a PEC 4H member for the past two years, wanted to test his skills at Pumpkinfest after a successful run with plenty of ribbons earned at the 4H competition at the Picton Fair in September.

“I won few ribbons and got a bit of prize money there,” said Black, who before the weigh-off even began, stated he is planning to return next year.
“We usually have a good growing season for watermelons,” he said, noting last year he sold one to Freshco in Belleville for a display. “I sold a pumpkin to them, too.

“The 4H club wants the seeds from my watermelon this year to grow for next year. I think this watermelon was grown from a prize winner last year.”

Carter Black pleased with the weighing of his giant pumpkin.

Black was also was pleased to see his giant pumpkin take 18th spot with a weigh-in of 507.5 pounds, and he just missed first place for his bushel gourd, just one and a half pounds lighter than the winner at 139.5, grown by Doug Court, of Port Elgin.

Jim Bryson, of Ormstown Quebec estimated his pumpkin would be 1,496 pounds but his was the heaviest weighed at Wellington Saturday when his giant clocked in at 1,608 pounds.

Bryson, and daughter Kelsey, are best known for their world-record setting pumpkin weighed in at Wellington in 2011 at 1,818 pounds. Today, the world record sits at 2,624 pounds. The current Canadian record is 1,877 pounds.

Tan Ho watches as his pumpkin is prepared for weighing. It tallied 740.5 pounds.

“We’ve never had one here in Canada weighing over 2,000 pounds, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t be,” said John Vincent, one of the organizers for Wellington’s event, along with wife, Sue. He has served as regional vice-president with the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth and is just one of a handful of people in Ontario who have earned the prestigious “Master Growers” distinction for excellence growing giant vegetables.

“There’s always a spin on weather. Last year was so dry and this year we’ve had lots of moisture – but it’s been cool,” said Vincent. “Pumpkins like heat, but not excessive heat, so the biggest thing about growing giant pumpkins is controlling their environment during weather extremes.”

Vincent said his own growing season this year was terrible for pumpkins and that was also reflected Ontario-wide, he said, noting pumpkin weigh-off numbers were down across the province. Wellington, however, had close to 30 waiting at the weigh-in.

“We have a lot of pumpkins here today but we knew we would have a big turnout because we’re the last weigh-off of the season. We haven’t had any frost and pumpkins are still growing five, six or eight pounds a day, so you want to leave them on the vine ’til the last weigh-off.”

Dan Clement, of Napanee, finished in second place in Wellington with his giant pumpkin weighing in at 1,476, followed by Norm Kyle, of Ennismore, whose entry hit 1,423 pounds.

The top Prince Edward County pumpkin was that of Dan Langridge’s, weighing 809.5, for 11th place. His wife Annette’s was right behind in 12th at 769.5. Mathiew Desjardins, of Milford, was 13th with a weigh-in of 766.5, followed by Shannon Desjardins, of Milford, at 745 and Tan Ho, of Picton, at 740.5.

Todd Kline, of Shawville Quebec, took top squash honours with a 973.5 pound entry. He won the top squash spot last year with a 1,079.5 pound entry. This year, he was followed by James Reid, of Martintown with a 369.5 pound weigh. Shannon Desjardins was the top squash grower in the Langridge family at 365.5 for third place, followed by her dad, Dan at 317.5 and mum, Annette at 263.5.

It has been 21 years since champion grower, the late Bill Greer, created Wellington Pumpkinfest after attending a weigh-off in Ottawa. He was the first to weigh a pumpkin more than 1,000 pounds.

Since, the event has grown into a community festival featuring the ever-popular parade, fun for all ages, and food.

Brooklyn the cutest pumpkin in the patch.

Anonymously dances with cloggers.

Val Ostrander is the bibbity-boppity fairy godmother behind Cinderella and her prince.

Donald Trumpkin spotted riding in a parade vehicle.

A warm, autumn wave from Hospice Prince Edward.

The giants rolled through Wellington on their way to the weigh-off.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis and Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff wave their way along the parade route.

MPP Todd Smith is photographed with Sadie, unofficially voted best-dressed dog at the pumpkin weigh off.

Dan Langridge unloads one of the giants for the Pumpkinfest weigh-off.

Talk amongst the giants.

Judges weighing the smaller giant vegetables.

Llamas among the animals meeting curious humans in Wellington Park.

Face painting by The HUB among fun things to do offered for children throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

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  1. Theresa Durning says:

    Thanks for the wonderful photos. PumpkinFest is a wonderful event!

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