I'm often asked how you move a pumpkin this big. Thanks to Justin, photographer for National Geographic, that story is told in pictures. The fork lift I got this year was bigger than ones we've used in the past, which made things a little problematic for getting it into position, but everything worked in the end.
I knew of four good sized pumpkins in Utah going into the weigh-off and I had figured 3rd place was reasonable, but you never know what surprise pumpkins could show up. One pumpkin grower said he was going to go to the Hee Haw weigh-off, so to three seemed possible. I knew my pumpkin in terms of inches was the smallest of the four.
At the weigh-off I gave my pumpkin (aka Uncle Sam) a few thumps and it seemed more solid than a remembered in the past. I asked Matt McConkie to thump it and he thought it possibly sounded heavy too. But I've been fooled by this in the past. Going into the weigh-off I didn't really consider the chance of the pumpkin going heavy, meaning it weighed more than then the estimated weight from measurements. Pumpkins in Utah don't typically go heavy, but my first season here both pumpkins went heavy. My OTT measurements said something around 1,275 pounds. I had been telling everyone 1,230 because it seemed reasonable and I hopefully thought it would weigh about that much, which would be bigger than my previous personal best of 1,220 pounds.
Of the big ones, Joey's pumpkin went first and unfortunately that pumpkin went light at 1,200 pounds. He did a great job with that plant and got about as much out of 400sq feet as a grower could get.
Next was my pumpkin:
1,325 was a complete surprise and with that I got 2nd place. The pumpkin ended up 8% heavy on the official measurement. So I present the 1325 Johnson (2005 Haist x 2255 Zaychowski)
But fortunately, I wasn't the best pumpkin grower in the family. My son Bode outdid me with a 1st place finish in the children's division. He really worked hard this year and didn't nearly reach the results he deserved this season. About five weeks ago his pumpkin stopped growing after only about 35 days of growth. We were fortunate to be able to get his pumpkin to the scale. And he topped them all at 299 pounds. I think if a deer hadn't taken a couple of bites out of his pumpkin we would have gotten to 300. I look forward to see what he can grow next year.