It's the great (big) pumpkin! How much does it weigh?
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Port Townsend Food Co-op produce manager Derek Christensen sets up the display for a giant pumpkin earlier this week. Customers have until Oct. 30 to guess the monster’s weight, with the winner receiving a $50 gift card. -- Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A great pumpkin is on display at the Port Townsend Food Co-op, inviting customers to correctly guess its weight and win a $50 gift card.

The giant vegetable was brought in by truck Wednesday and placed by forklift to its current location just outside the east entrance of the market at the Food Co-op at 414 Kearney St.

“A lot of people participate in this,” said produce manager Derek Christensen. “We had about 1,000 guesses last year.

“The kids really love it.”

Last year's pumpkin weighed 465 pounds. The winner of the contest guessed its weight to the pound.

Those participating this year should hazard weightier guesses.

“I'm told that this is the largest one we've ever had,” said Kenna Eaton, general manager.

The pumpkin measures about 10 feet in circumference and 13 feet from its stem to the bottom.

The winner will be announced Oct. 30.

The contest is open to both members and nonmembers. A nonmember who wins will receive a $45 gift card instead of the $50 card that would go to a co-op member because of the co-op discount.

The co-op purchases its large pumpkins from Mustard Seed Farms in St. Paul, Ore.

Once the contest is over, the co-op will donate it to Sunfield Farm & Waldorf School in Port Hadlock, where it will be used as a seasonal display.

Then, it will become compost or livestock feed, Christensen said.

“This isn't any good to eat because the meat is really tough,” Christensen said.

“You'd need a chain saw to cut it into pieces.”

Port Townsend resident Luna Light remembers her son guessing the proper weight of a huge pumpkin at a contest at PCC Natural Markets in Issaquah a few years ago.

“I didn't even know he had made a guess until we got a phone call saying that we had won and that we had won the pumpkin, and it was 610 pounds,” said Light, who was then living on a farm near Preston.

“It just fit into our truck, so we took it to a Halloween party where the kids climbed all over it, and then we took it home.”

The family put it on the front porch until it started to rot. Then, they split it into pieces and put it into the back field for the horses and goats.

“There was a compost pile in the pasture,” Light said, “and we had one giant pumpkin that grew out of the pile the next year.”

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 10. 2013 6:48PM
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