Four years after seeing giant pumpkins at the Bloomsburg Fair and wondering if he could grow one, Mike Henry had a 665-pound orange giant overtaking his backyard, on Liberty Street in Fairview Township. Neighborhood kids, filled with wonder and curiosity, gathered at his house last week as the pumpkin was hoisted onto a truck and sent to Bloomsburg for judging.
“It’s exciting,” Mike said, adding that he knew by August that his pumpkin, growing a whopping 30 to 40 pounds per day, was something special. In the Agriculture Building at the fair, Mike’s pumpkin was one of the biggest on display and, had it weighed just over five pounds more, would have won a ribbon.
“It can be ugly, it can be deformed,” Mike explained of the competition. “The contest just goes by weight.” The winner’s pumpkin, huge and a grayish white color, weighed 1,171 pounds. Second place was 1,044 pounds and third was 670 pounds.
Mike’s pumpkin, shaped evenly and a soft orange color, just missed being awarded a ribbon, coming in fourth place of about a dozen giant pumpkins in the competition. Fairgoers were seen admiring Mike’s pumpkin this weekend and kids leaned forward to touch its smooth exterior.
Mike is now back at it, preparing the soil of his garden to plant next year’s pumpkins, hoping for a ribbon in 2016. “It’s a very fun hobby and the whole family can get involved,” he said.
Mike’s gardening hobby began at
a trip to Bloomsburg four years ago, when he and his wife Deb walked through the Agricultural Building
and saw huge pumpkins that others had entered in the contest.
“I wanted to try it,” he said. Deb had a vegetable garden in their yard