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Pumpkin breaks record at Half Moon Bay weigh-off

October 8, 2012 12:13:01 PM PDT
The winning entry in Half Moon Bay's Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off was grown by Thad Starr of Oregon. The 1,775 pound pumpkin broke a state and Half Moon Bay record. He will get $6 per pound for winning the competition.

"It's the bragging rights of winning Half Moon Bay I think that drives these growers more than the money does," said Starr.

Starr is a three-time winner and arrived with a monster from Oregon. His kids are missing school for the event.

First time grower Angela Costanzo competed at the event too.

"Anybody can do it if you have the time; it was like a second job. I don't know if I'll do it again," said Costanzo.

Her gourd hit 432 pounds on the scale.

So what is the recipe to growing a supersize prize pumpkin, well growers are spilling a few secrets.

"I think that getting your soil just right is probably one of the most important things and you have to be willing to spend the money to use a laboratory and have your soil analyzed," said Walnut Grove Pumpkin grower Rob Globus.

Globus started serious pumpkin growing three years ago and said one hour a day per pumpkin is what it takes.

"I think the biggest growing secret is to make friends with people who are better growers than you," said Globus.

"The number one thing is you have to start with the proper seed," said Starr.

And a lot of water -- some 150 gallons a day.

"It's kind of like gold fever, you get addicted and just keep growing and growing and keep tearing out more of your yard and turning it into a pumpkin patch," said Starr.


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