Good Gourd

An inside look at the world's most monstrous monster pumpkins

October 25, 2017
Women sits on giant pumpkin
Bradley Wittke Photography

Here’s a thing I know about you: You have no idea the sheer energy, volume and money being poured into the growing, gloppy and deformed world of giant pumpkin growing. While you’ve been watching bad football all autumn, hard-working farmers in sincere pumpkin patches from all parts of the Midwest have been WORKING to explode weight records, top the iconic one-ton mark and claim the coveted title of Guy Who Grew a Super-Big Cruel Obscenity of Nature That He’ll Then Have to Carve Up In an Hours-Long Process That Will Leave Him Entirely Coated in Little Orange Stringy Goop.

(You also probably did not know how much manure is required to grow a giant pumpkin, which is why most people are content to purchase normal-sized ones from the $4 bin in the Costco parking lot. You were also probably unaware that growing giant pumpkins involves manual beetle removal, in case you thought your job sucked today.)

But indeed, in a world where it’s way more palatable to look at pictures of carrot-colored Jabba the Hutts instead of read the news, the giant pumpkin industry has become HUGE! And by that we mean fat and sort of distended. Here now, The Loop’s picks for Most Hideous Pumpkin Nightmares of 2017.

1.) Meet Joel Holland of Sumner, Washington, obviously some sort of dark wizard and America’s new Pumpkin King, and look at us gracefully opting out of making a Trump joke here. Holland’s beautiful baby is a 2,363-lb. abomination seen here at the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, which is basically like the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest of ginormous pumpkinry. Holland’s monster has been duly verified by the people who judge such things, and has even appeared at the New York Botanical Garden, stretching the phrase “botanical garden” to within in an inch of its life.

2.) Sweet mother of Nikolai Volkoff, behold this very cold behemoth grown by psychologist Alexander Chusov at a Russian Record Book ceremony to officially christen it the Largest Pumpkin in Russia. At a mere 952 lbs., this thing wouldn’t even warrant an Honorable Mention here in the states, so clearly Russia hasn’t stolen our pumpkin-growing secrets yet. Incidentally, this pumpkin has just been elected president of the United States.

Mikhail Pochuyev

3.) Here’s a new North Carolina state record, a 1,458-lb. horror so concave and floppy that it actually ate its own plaque. They’ve had similar problems at Duke.

4.) Like all objects in Louisville, this 1,754-lb. fiend is absolutely stuffed full of bourbon and some extra bags of money from Rick Pitino’s recruiting account.

5.) Weird, this article is about to include the word “regatta”: Participants in the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta have discovered the only thing that could make giant pumpkins smell funkier is to submerge them in shallow water and send them floating through town. On the plus side, fish along the course will feast for years.

6.) The largest pumpkin in Pennsylvania clocked in at a relatively average 1,676 lbs. making this the only time you can look at Hyundai-sized hunk of purported food that weighs 1,676 lbs. and go, eh, next time try harder.

7.) You know the horrible feeling you get when you reach into a pumpkin and feel nothing but slimy guts? Here's a regatta that'll let you enjoy that with your whole body!

8.) Not even a pumpkin. That’s not even a pumpkin-colored object. That pumpkin died like three years ago. That’s why there’s a blanket on the corpse.

9.) How many of that lady could fit inside this horrific deathshow? 30? 35? This entire picture makes me nervous.

10.) What in the hell is this even about? Pumpkins are orange. The end.

11.) Ugh, Meemaw looks terrible.


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