50th annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California (News21USA): A massive pumpkin weighing 2,749 pounds has taken the top prize and set a world record at the 50th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California. Travis Gienger, a horticulture teacher from Anoka, Minnesota, cultivated this enormous, lumpy, orange pumpkin, which could yield around 687 pies.
Gienger, 43, who has been nurturing pumpkins for nearly three decades and set a new U.S. record for giant gourd cultivation last year, was not expecting to clinch the world record. The previous record for the heaviest pumpkin was held by an Italian grower who produced a 2,702-pound squash in 2021, as per Guinness World Records.
To achieve this remarkable feat, Gienger provided his pumpkin patch with exceptional care, watering the plants up to 12 times a day and applying more generous amounts of fertilizer. As a landscape and horticulture teacher at Anoka Technical College, he has cultivated a passion for growing pumpkins since his teenage years, inspired by his father, who shared the same interest. Gienger has been a formidable contender in Half Moon Bay’s annual weigh-off since 2020, securing victory in three of the city’s last four giant pumpkin contests.
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Gienger’s dedication to his craft has not only earned him the title of pumpkin champion but also a $30,000 prize for growing the world’s largest pumpkin. The colossal pumpkin will be on public display in Half Moon Bay during the city’s Art and Pumpkin Festival, where visitors will have the opportunity to take photos with Gienger and the gigantic gourd.