By Chris Marchand
After many years of waiting in the wings as host and weighmaster of the local Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In, Bob Nelson is again its champion.
In a year that saw the conspicuous absence of colourful cigar-chomping rogue and perennial favourite Max Lang — Nelson and his wife Karen clinched the top two spots in a 12 pumpkin field by breaking the 300 lb mark (307 and 301 lbs respectively). Karen admits her colossal fruit was ‘all Bob’.
“I make the pies, he grows the pumpkins,” she said.
“I kind of miss that old guy,” said Bob of his friend Max Lang. “He always grows a big one. He went away on a holiday down east this spring and he says it was too late to start one by the time he got back. He usually grows a 500 to 600 pound pumpkin. He started this all way back when.”
A little scaled-back in size this year, the annual celebration of agricultural anomalies enjoyed perfect weather on Saturday afternoon, attracting its usual mix of devotees by word of mouth to Nelson’s Nymark Rd. residence.
In between moving the pumpkins on and off the scale there was plenty to chat about for the practicioners of this intensive form of gardening — from seeds, to pollination, to fertilizers and pest control.
“It’s a lot of piddling around,” said Nelson. “You’ve got to watch the vines carefullly — that they don’t grow over the vine and break themselves off.”
Nelson says his second place pumpkin (301 lbs) was pollinated as recently as Aug. 1.
“It’s not even two months old,” he said. “You can almost hear them growing out there.”
2015 Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In
1. Bob Nelson 307 lbs.
2. Karen Nelson 301 lbs.
3. Denis Cote 287 lbs.
4. Dylan Woods 261 lbs.
5. Jonathan Lockyer 267 lbs.
6. Jonathan Lockyer 232 lbs.
7. Brian Lockyer 196 lbs.
8. Brian Lockyer 158 lbs.
9. Susan Hall 153 lbs.
10. Heinz Lang 152 lbs.
11. Lauren Lockyer 151 lbs.
12. Heinz Lang 81 lbs.