It’s not everyday you can see two-hundred pound pumpkin being grown in your area, but the Horticulture Club at American River College is doing just that.
The Horticulture Club has grown pumpkins this size before, and has submitted them into competitions.
For last year’s pumpkin, the Horticulture Club hired a professional carver to turn the pumpkin into a mask similar to those worn on the Day of the Dead.
That pumpkin won them two prizes, for being the most creative and most original with their design.
This year’s pumpkin is from the seed of last years winner. However, unlike previous pumpkins it is not yet clear if it will be submitted for competition.
The club did have plans though to display it on club day according to Horticulture Club Vice President Gloria Rasmussen, but instead will sell it to the Old Soul Coffee Company, a local business that bought it to display in order to raise awareness for community gardens.
“(We were) going to decorate it like a dinosaur egg and put a dinosaur next to it so it looks like a dinosaur nest for Club Day,” said Rasmussen.
The pumpkin will remain in the horticulture department’s garden for another week after which it will be cut from the vine and given to Old Soul.
Rasmussen said the pumpkin is has been under constant care from the club in order for it to continue to grow healthy and strong.
The pumpkin was planted in specially enriched soil, tilled with organic matter and infused with nitrogen that was specifically designed for it.
The vine is being pruned constantly so that it would not have to share nutrients with any other pumpkin that might grow off the same vine.
The club is learning to grow larger size pumpkins as they go by learning from the experiences of past projects. According to ARC horticulture professor and club advisor Debbie Flower, the club will probably continue to grow giant pumpkins so long as the club members want to.
Last year’s pumpkin was carved into a mask for the Day of the Dead.