It’s Ormstown’s First Great Pumpkin Weigh, Charlie Brown – Montreal
This year, local growers didn’t have to travel far to participate in a major Pumpkin Commonwealth weigh-in. The Ormstown Fall Festival is now a recognized competition.
“We have local guys who grow up in the community and they usually travel 8 to 9 hours to weigh pumpkins. So we invited them this year to our second annual fall festival,” said Jayme McClintock, secretary of the Livestock Breeders Association.
Moving gargantuan gourds to the scale using a forklift proved to be a difficult task. Especially when first place is up for grabs and international records can be broken.
“You can qualify for awards in North America, actually the world, because you have to be sanctioned by the GPC. It is therefore the great Commonwealth of the pumpkin. It is the governing body of all pumpkin growers around the world,” Judge Glenn Cheam said.
The pumpkin that won first place at the Ormstown Fall Festival was grown by Tod Kline of Shawville, weighing 1,636 pounds.
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The weigh-in was the event’s newest display in farmland south of Montreal, featuring local businesses and a livestock display.
“We are a non-profit organization and we do this for the community and for anyone to come and enjoy our region, local producers and all types of agriculture,” McClintock said.
Glenn Cheam judged several categories at Saturday’s weigh-in, including 3 squash and 6 pumpkins that take about 6 months to grow, gaining about 40-50 pounds a day.
“The first thing I look at is the color. Is it a squash or is it a pumpkin? Pumpkins can range from orange to creamy white, while squash is green,” he told Global News.
Even experienced farmers say giant pumpkins are one of the hardest things to grow.
“I guess you need a lot of luck to start. I usually have about 800 square feet per plant,” farmer Jim Bryson said.
Although they won’t win any beauty contests, after the weigh-in they can be carved for Halloween or even eaten.
« You could. We don’t. But I lost one earlier this year, and I started eating it. I couldn’t stop myself from eating it. It’s really good to eat,” Bryson said.
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