New record set for heaviest U.S. pumpkin

New record set for heaviest U.S. pumpkin
Oct 11, 2022

A teacher in Minnesota grew a 2,560-pound pumpkin

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Midwest Home photo

New Hampshire named the pumpkin as its state fruit in 2006 and Texas named the pumpkin as its state squash in 2013, but a different state could make a claim to hold all U.S. pumpkin designations.

Travis Gienger, a horticulture teacher from Anoka, Minn., drove 35 hours to set a record for the heaviest U.S.-grown pumpkin at the 49th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

His pumpkin, named Maverick, weighed in at 2,560 pounds to set the new record and earned him a $23,000 cash prize.

Having the winning pumpkin come from Minnesota is surprising, Gienger said.

“Minnesota has a great midyear, but our spring in our parts is really, really tough,” he said, the Associated Press reported.. “So to do it in Minnesota, it just shouldn’t happen. It’s like winning the Tour de France on a big wheel. You know, you can only hope, but it worked.”

Maverick beat the previous record by six pounds.

The pumpkin broke the record set by Steve and Scott Andrusz from Clarence, N.Y.

The New York farmers produced a pumpkin that last week weighed in at 2,554 pounds.

The world record for heaviest pumpkin belongs to an Italian grower.

Stefano Cutrupi produced a pumpkin weighing in at 2,702 pounds at the 10th Campionato dello Zuccona pumpkin festival on Sept. 26 in Peccoli, Italy, Guinness World Records says.

Cutrupi grew his pumpkin from a 1885.5 Werner seed.

Minnesota is, however, home to at least one Guinness world record.

In 2017, Christopher Qualley from Otsego, Minn. grew the world’s heaviest carrot.

The vegetable weighed in at 22.44 pounds.

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