What does it take to grow the largest pumpkin ever in North America? If you trust the current record-holder, the answer is: Not much.
Gene McMuller, a factory worker for 36 years who says he grows pumpkins for fun, set a new record for our continent by entering a 2,145.5-pound pumpkin into the Cedarburg Wine & Harvest Festival in Wisconsin. When asked by the Associated Press how he managed to grow such a massive squash, he replied, “Lucky. Dumb luck. Accident, waiting for it to happen. It happened. I don’t do anything different than any other growers do.”
He probably could have included “practice” on that list, too, because it wasn’t like this was the first time he’d tried his hand at producing a giant pumpkin. Just last year, he brought a 1,600-pound entry up from his hometown of Streator, Illinois.
But the whole thing raises an important question: What is the largest pumpkin ever? According to Guinness World Records, “The heaviest pumpkin weighs 1,054 kg (2,323 lb), was grown by Beni Meier (Switzerland) and authenticated by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on 12 October 2014.”
According to BigPumpkins.com (there’s a niche audience if ever we’ve heard of one), “Beni grew his record pumpkin on the 2009 Wallace seed and crossed it with his own 2328 Meier.” You see, now THAT is a strategy. “Dumb luck,” my ass! This is why America can’t keep up in the big pumpkin game.